FARGO — Police are warning residents about the dangers of using illegal drugs after two women were hospitalized in Fargo after smoking marijuana that may have been laced with a harmful chemical.
The warning comes hours after The Forum broke a story about two women who smoked marijuana Saturday, June 8, in Fargo and were taken to the hospital the next day.
One woman, Sierra Brown, 19, of Fargo, told The Forum that she suffered numbness in one of her legs, and the other woman, Brown's girlfriend, was reportedly in a coma.
Brown's father, Randall, said doctors told him the marijuana may have been tainted with rat poison or insecticide, perhaps to mask the smell during transport, or it may have contained a synthetic drug.
He took to Facebook to warn that there could be more "laced weed" on the streets.
Jessica Schindeldecker, a police spokeswoman, said the Fargo Police Department's warning issued Wednesday, June 12, was prompted by The Forum's story, as well as a recent increase in overdoses across the country.
"Many times this is attributed to a ‘bad batch’ of a certain drug,” police stated in a news release. “While there are no ‘good batches’ of illicit substances, there are definitely times where a drug hits the street that is more potent due to how it is manufactured, or because of other dangerous substances that are added to it.”
The department said it usually is not aware of “higher potency” drugs being in the area until officers respond to an overdose. When previously asked about the two women hospitalized this weekend, police officials said officers responded at 5:28 p.m. Sunday to the 1000 block of Third Street North for a medical assist, but declined to release further information.
"At this time we don’t know what caused the two females to end up in the hospital," Schindeldecker wrote in an email Wednesday. "It is an active investigation."
Police said officers work diligently to investigate drug crimes and identify the source. They asked residents to report suspicious activity or drug use to local law enforcement.
“There is no quality control when it comes to illegal street drugs, and any time someone puts an illegal substance into their body, they don’t know exactly what is in it,” the release stated. “This obviously makes the practice of drug use very dangerous and can lead to severe medical issues and even death.”