Two dead from possible use of synthetic cannabis
UPDATE: A second man has died from suspected synthetic cannabis poisoning in Mackay.
The 41-year-old man who was on life support at the Mackay hospital died this afternoon. The men were not known to each other.
EARLIER: A MAN has died after possibly using synthetic cannabis in Mackay.
Detective Inspector Sam Bliss said police were investigating the death of a 33-year-old man yesterday, as well as the circumstances surrounding an earlier admission to hospital of a 41-year-old man with a life threatening medical condition.
The number of recent incidents in the Mackay area, including the one yesterday, have police and health officials concerned due to possible links to the use of synthetic cannabis.
Detective Inspector Sam Bliss, Mackay Crime and Support Services said the ability to purchase materials over the internet or in suburban shops does not make their possession legal in Queensland, nor does it make them harmless or safe to consume.
"The chemical compounds found in these drugs are dangerous and are not herbal or natural alternatives to 'real drugs', they contain synthetic compounds which are toxic and extremely dangerous.
"Synthetic cannabinoidomimetic drugs are included in Schedule 2 of the Drugs Misuse Regulation 1987 and offences exist for possessing, producing, supplying and or trafficking in dangerous drugs, which includes so-called synthetic products containing these substances."
Mackay Hospital and Health Service Executive Director Clinical Services Dr David Farlow said the Mackay Base Hospital had seen an increase in the number of presentations for synthetic drug use.
"People need to be cautious about consuming these products where the ingredients are unknown.
"These drugs pose a major risk to an individual's physical and mental health and the community," Dr. Farlow said.