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Haifa man dies after taking illegal synthetic cannabinoid drug; 3 arrested

Hospital says ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ consumed by 31-year-old, who suffered major cerebral hemorrhage, likely contained rat poison

Police find bags of an illegal cannabis synthetic cannabinoid in the Haifa area, on September 26, 2021. (Israel Police)
Police find bags of an illegal cannabis synthetic cannabinoid in the Haifa area, on September 26, 2021. (Israel Police)

A resident of Haifa was pronounced dead in a hospital Monday after consuming an illegal cannabis synthetic cannabinoid that was apparently laced with a poisonous substance.

The victim, 31, was taken to Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center over the weekend along with numerous others who took the drug cocktail, which is commonly known as “Mr. Nice Guy.”

The hospital said he suffered a major cerebral hemorrhage.

Twelve teens were hospitalized over the weekend in medical centers in the north of the country after taking the drug, which likely contained rat poison, according to Rambam.

Earlier reports suggested the synthetic psychoactive cannabinoid that once dominated Tel Aviv’s streets was suspected to have been taken with anticoagulants aimed at getting the drug around the body faster.

The teens, some of who remain in hospital, were all admitted with dizziness, vomiting and hallucinations, all known side effects of the drug.

In response to the incident, the police and the Health Ministry opened a joint investigation and have so far arrested three men in the Haifa area suspected of distributing the drug.

A 27-year-old from Kiryat Motzkin and a 31-year-old Haifa man were detained on Sunday over the suspicion of distributing the drug.

And on Monday, a 23-year-old from Tirat Carmel was arrested, with the drugs reportedly found on his person.

Following the 31-year-old’s death, the men are now suspected of manslaughter.

A man suspected of distributing an illegal cannabis synthetic cannabinoid is arrested in the Haifa area, September 26, 2021. (Israel Police)

In 2011, “Mr. Nice Guy” and other synthetic cannaboids, which became increasingly popular in Israel, were banned. They had previously been approved by the health and welfare committee in the Knesset.

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