It was reported that packets of a leafy mixture laced with chemicals sent hundreds of people to the hospital in Colorado. Within one month, 200 people had been poisoned by synthetic marijuana, killing one. This then led to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)arresting nine men after they were indicted by a federal grand jury in Colorado and several other states and charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances (18 USC 371) and distribution of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act (18 USC 841) as a part of a national crackdown on synthetic drug production. .
John Bowen of Las Vegas and Daniel Bernier of Cocoa Beach, Florida, allegedly ran companies in Florida and Colorado that used chemicals imported from China to produce products that were sold across the United States. One of the products was a synthetic version of pot that was sold at many tobacco shops in Colorado.
Those arrested as a result of the indictment are wholesalers and retailers in Colorado, Nebraska, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The DEA said that poisonings were linked to synthetic marijuana in Georgia as well last summer, but Colorado had the most significant outbreak. This synthetic marijuana has also reportedly been linked to the death of a 15-year-old boy and possibly two other deaths of adults.
Real Marijuana is legal in Colorado, while synthetic pot blends are not. A significant reason why these synthetic products are appealing is because they do not show up in workplace drug tests.