BOSTON (Reuters) - Drug dealers looking for extra profits apparently added lead flakes to packets of marijuana, inflating their value while causing dozens of cases of serious poisoning, doctors in Germany reported on Wednesday
Franzika Busse of University Hospital Leipzig reported.
"One package contained obvious lead particles; this strongly indicated that the lead was deliberately added to the package rather than inadvertently incorporated into the marijuana plants from contaminated soil," the researchers wrote in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine.
The problem was discovered last year when the first of 29 patients, aged 16 to 33, started showing up in four Leipzig hospitals with abdominal cramps, fatigue, nausea and varying degrees of anemia. One was ill enough to be suffering from hallucinations.
It took eight weeks to uncover a common pattern: all were young, smoked, had body piercings and were either students or unemployed. All regularly used marijuana.
Three patients brought in their stashes. All samples tested positive for lead contamination, with one having lead flakes that were obvious under a microscope.
After two more weeks, an anonymous screening program for marijuana users uncovered 95 other people who needed treatment.
Of course if you let Al Capone's descendants supply Marijuana to the world the purity can never be assured, you can bet that somewhere in Europe, there is some ruthless bastard turning lead into a powder that wont be as easily detected on the shipments, frightening huh!.