April 10, 2008
By: Busse F, Omidi L, Leichtle A, Windgassen M, Kluge E, Stumvoll M.
In recent months several cases of lead poisoning were observed in Germany, mainly in the region of Leipzig. Some cases also occurred in other places, such as Munich and Vienna, Austria. According to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine 29 patients were admitted to four different hospitals in the greater Leipzig area with classic signs and symptoms of lead intoxication, which had not occurred in Germany in recent decades. All patients were regular cannabis users and lead was detected in cannabis of some patients.
A criminal investigation was begun to find the causer of the lead adulteration. Lead was obviously added to the drug by drug traffickers to increase weight and profit. An anonymous screening program for cannabis users was started and further 95 subjects were found, who had blood levels of lead that required treatment. The Drug Commissioner of the Federal Government, Sabine Baetzing, issued a warning on cannabis that may be adulterated by lead. Several German organisations called for the possibility for cannabis users to grow their own for personal use to reduce the risks of cannabis use.Republish