State law officials are warning Louisiana residents about the dangers of synthetic marijuana after dozens were left unconscious Wednesday.

Experts tell it’s easy for anyone who comes across synthetic marijuana to confuse it with the real thing.

Lake Charles Memorial Hospital has experienced a major uptick of these cases in the area, and Lake Charles Police and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office is reporting the same. 

“Dope dealers could care less about your health and well-being. They want to make a dollar. They cut this crap with everything they can, lace it with everything they can,” said Sheriff Tony Mancuso from Calcasieu Parish.

“They could care less. It’s poison, it’s literally poison that you’re putting into your body.” 

This past weekend, police say Acadian ambulance took around 45 people who reportedly used synthetic marijuana. 

According to U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, synthetic drugs mimic the effects of illegal narcotics and, in some cases, are developed in attempts to evade regulation.

Recently, more than 70 people overdosed on what authorities believed to besynthetic marijuana.

Since 2009, the use of synthetics has increased rapidly, and emergency room visits resulting from synthetic marijuana and amphetamines have doubled across the country.

Unfortunately, there is very little research on the negative effects of these synthetic drugs on the brains of young people, and this bipartisan bill seeks to address that.

“This legislation is about protecting our communities from lethal drugs. The more we know about the effects of lethal drugs, the more we can help prevent addiction,” said Sen. Cassidy.

“We need to do everything we can to ensure safer communities and healthier families in Louisiana.”