Synthetic-pot dead at nine in Auckland
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand officials on Friday urged people to stop smoking synthetic marijuana after nine people died after using the drug this month in Auckland, the nation’s largest city.
The latest was a 31-year-old woman who died Thursday evening. Police suspect she was smoking synthetic marijuana shortly before her death, though they acknowledged that other factors may have contributed.
Synthetic marijuana is made with chemicals similar to those found in natural marijuana to give users a high. It is illegal in New Zealand, where authorities say the drug is dangerous and is sometimes laced with other chemicals.
Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall said the drug can cause seizures and many people have been hospitalized after using it.
Acting Detective Inspector Peter Florence said Friday that police were taking the problem seriously and doing everything they could to get the drug off the streets.