Vapes spiked with illegal drugs show dark side of CBD craze
An Associated Press investigation shows a dark side to booming sales of the cannabis extract CBD. Some people are substituting cheap and dangerous street drugs for the real thing.
As a result, vapes and other products marketed as helping a range of ailments instead have sent dozens of people to emergency rooms because they were spiked with synthetic marijuana.
Lab testing commissioned by AP shows some CBD vape products available at stores or online contain synthetic marijuana commonly known as K2 or spice. Unlike real CBD, which doesn’t have psychoactive qualities, synthetic marijuana gives an intense high.
Industry representatives acknowledge spiking is an issue, but say many companies are reputable.
But with drug enforcement authorities busy fighting the opioid epidemic, manufacturers of spiked products operate with impunity.
Contact AP’s investigative team at Investigativeap.org.
Mohr reported from Carlsbad, California; Panama City, Florida; and Jackson, Mississippi. Contributing to this report were Allen Breed in Lexington and Ninety Six, South Carolina; Juliet Linderman in New York, Philadelphia and Towson, Maryland; Reese Dunklin in Dallas; Krysta Fauria in Carlsbad and Los Angeles; Carla K. Johnson in Seattle; Justin Pritchard in Washington and Los Angeles; Rhonda Shafner in New York; Ted Warren in Grants Pass, Oregon; and Mitch Weiss in Lexington, South Carolina.
People experiencing problems with a product labeled as CBD can reach a local poison control center by calling 1-800-222-1222.
OPIOID CRISIS-CONTINUING TOLL
Amid settlement talks, opioids keep taking a grim toll
While the nation’s attorneys general debate a legal settlement with Purdue Pharma, the opioid epidemic associated with the company’s blockbuster painkiller OxyContin rages on.
The drugs still kill tens of thousands of people each year with no end in sight.
Pennsylvania’s York County investigated eight suspected overdose deaths in a single week of August – four in 24 hours. Coroner Pam Gay says it’s going to take a while to see a decline.
Purdue has entered a proposed settlement with about half the states and 2,000 local governments. But attorneys general in Pennsylvania and many other states have come out against the deal, calling it insufficient. They vow to continue litigation against the company and the family that owns it.
Associated Press writers Emery P. Dalesio in Raleigh, North Carolina; Don Babwin in Elk Grove Village, Illinois; Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia; and Mike Stobbe in New York City contributed to this report.
CHEERLEADERS -TRUMP BANNER
Cheerleading squad suspended after Trump banner displayed
NEW LONDON, N.C. (AP) – A high school cheerleading team in North Carolina is on probation after a banner supporting President Donald Trump was displayed before a football game.
Stanly County Schools Superintendent Jeff James told The Associated Press in an email Monday that the probation was levied by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.
The incident occurred Aug. 30 before a game at North Stanly High School. It’s about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Charlotte.
News outlets reported that the banner read: “Trump 2020: Make America Great Again.”
James said the probation simply means “don’t do it again.” He added that all North Carolina schools have a policy against displaying political signs.
The district said in a previous statement that the banner’s display wasn’t planned or endorsed by the school or staff.
SPIKED CBD-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina officials find spiked CBD sold in the state
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina authorities have encountered products marketed as delivering the cannabis extract CBD but that instead were spiked with synthetic marijuana.
The state crime lab found nearly 30 spiked products as of earlier this year. Nearly all were vape products.
The Associated Press gathered the results for an investigation into how some operators are capitalizing on the CBD boom by substituting a dangerous street drug for the real thing.
That practice has sent dozens of people nationwide to emergency rooms, including teens and service members in North Carolina. Unlike CBD, synthetic marijuana gives an intense high.
In all, lab testing shows spiked vapes or edibles such as gummy bears marketed as CBD in at least 13 states.
Industry representatives acknowledge spiking, but say many companies are reputable.
3 BODIES FOUND
Police discover 3 bodies in North Carolina home
BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina say they found three people dead inside a home while responding to a call of a shooting.
News outlets report that Burlington police officers entered a home Sunday afternoon and found the bodies of 47-year-old Dana Underwood, 43-year-old Tyson Bennett and 46-year-old Anthony Fitcher.
WFMY reports that police said they believe Underwood and Bennett had previously been in a relationship.
Burlington police posted on Twitter Sunday evening that they thought the incident was isolated at the home, and posed no threat to the community.
Police didn’t name a suspect or reveal a cause of death for the victims.
North Carolina legislature on track to OK new maps this week
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – New electoral boundaries for North Carolina General Assembly seats demanded by state judges are on track to be finalized by this week’s court deadline.
The Senate scheduled floor debate on its proposed plan for Monday evening. The House passed its own map late last week, but it and the Senate are holding a public hearing earlier Monday to take citizen comment.
Each map must pass both chambers by Wednesday to meet a directive from a three-judge panel that declared dozens of districts unconstitutional because of excessive partisanship in current lines favoring Republicans.
The changes originate from the work of an expert witness for plaintiffs who sued over the maps. Legislators adjusted them to prevent pairs of incumbents from having to run against each other in 2020.
FREEDOM RIDES TOUR
Students, community members to go on ‘Freedom Rides Tour’
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) – The University of Mary Washington is inviting members of the Fredericksburg, Virginia, community to join students on a trip tracing the route of history-changing bus rides across the American South in the 1960s.
The “Freedom Rides Tour” will run from Oct. 12 through Oct. 15.
The social justice experience will celebrate Dr. James L. Farmer Jr., the late civil rights icon and Mary Washington history professor.
A community bus and a student bus will stop at some of the same places the Freedom Riders stopped as they spoke with other activists at North Carolina’s Bennett College, strategized next steps in Georgia or sought a safe place to sleep.
The tour includes visits to the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in North Carolina and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama.
NC man charged with second-degree murder in baby’s death
MORGANTON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man charged in an 8-week-old baby’s death faces his first court appearance this week.
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office said a second-degree murder warrant was served Friday on 23-year-old Maurice DaShawn Springs of Morganton. He was in the Burke-Catawba jail without bond awaiting a Monday court date.
The sheriff’s office says deputies responded Sept. 4 to a report of an unresponsive male infant brought to a Morganton emergency room by his parents. The child died five days later in a Charlotte hospital.
The News Herald of Morganton reports search warrants filed in the case indicate the infant had a traumatic brain injury from shaken baby syndrome.
Brought to the magistrate on Friday, Springs shook his head no when reporters asked him whether he had committed the crime.