In 2010, there were 461,028 people who were admitted to emergency rooms in the United States for marijuana related causes.
In the same year, 11,406 people were admitted to emergency rooms across the country for synthetic marijuana related causes. In 59 percent of the cases, the synthetic marijuana was the only drug found in the person’s system, with 36 percent of the patients consuming more than one drug. 78 percent of the patients were men.
Synthetic marijuana has grown in popularity in the United States since it was first introduced in 2008. Sold under names such as Spice and K2, they are made using a blend of herbal spices and sprayed with synthetic compounds. In a 2011 survey of high school students, marijuana was the most used drug of seniors, followed by synthetic marijuana.
Source: Michelle Castillo, “Synthetic marijuana sent more than 11,400 people to ER in 2010,” CBS News, December 4, 2012.