HOUSTON - Sixteen people were rushed to the hospital Thursday after officials believe they may have overdosed on synthetic marijuana at Hermann Park.
Officials found several wrappers for synthetic marijuana or Kush near where the group of people were sitting in Hermann Park, according to Ruy Lozano with the Houston Fire Department. At least some of them were suffering from the effects of synthetic marijuana, Lozano with the Houston said. He said the heat makes the effects of Kush even worse.
One ambulance after another responded to emergency calls and there were so many patients, police had to call in extra units to take care of them all. "This is getting ridiculous. So many incidents out here of Kush. Need to get HPD out here stat!" said one firefighter responding to the scene.
Lozano said they get Kush-related calls from the area all the time.
The mix of chemicals and herbs has become popular in Houston because it’s relatively cheap and easy to get. Firefighters say Kush users can become dehydrated, agitated and even violent. They say many of the patients Thursday were homeless people who hang out at the park.
“What you’re noticing is that, here you are in one of the city’s most beautiful parks and there’s hardly any families here,” Lozano said. “And they know not to come here because of the homeless population and because the use of Kush has made them a little bit volatile, so we need to get a handle on it.”
The problem is so bad, that area of Hermann Park has become known as “Kush Corner.”
By Tim Witzel, KHOU-TV, Houston, for USA Today/June 24, 2016