Police seek source of synthetic pot that sickened dozens in Newark

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(Photo: spiceaddictionsupport.org)

NEWARK, N.J.  — Authorities are seeking the source of some synthetic marijuana that has recently sickened about 40 people in New Jersey’s largest city.

Newark police say no fatalities have been reported so far. But many people have been hospitalized due to their use of the drug, which can cause seizures, hallucinations, vomiting and psychosis.

The first cases were discovered Thursday night, when officers responding to a report of a sick person foaming at the mouth soon found about 12 people experiencing similar symptoms.

Authorities say most of those sickened by the drug were homeless people. But it’s not clear if dealers are targeting that population.

Two men were arrested Friday for possessing synthetic marijuana in the area where the overdoses occurred. But it’s not clear if their drugs were responsible. Kevin McKenzie, 31, and Quadeer Nelson, 37, both of Newark were arrested for distribution of synthetic marijuana.

McKenzie had one “Black Giant” packet of synthetic marijuana and Nelson has one “Extreme Packet” containing synthetic marijuana and five empty packages of synthetic marijuana.