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Officials warn against synthetic marijuana

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has issued a warning about synthetic marijuana products that have recently sent people to the hospital with severe bleeding.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the state since March has had seven confirmed hospitalizations caused by the use of the synthetic drug.

Officials warn that people shouldn’t use the products, which are often referred to as “K2” or “Spice.” The department says synthetic cannabinoids often contain harmful chemicals, such as rat poison.

Wisconsin deemed the substances illegal in 2011. Possession could result in up to $1,000 in fines or jail time.

Capitol Petro convenience stores in Madison and the franchise’s owner were fined $1.3 million last year for having more than 16,000 violations related to selling the synthetic marijuana products.

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