11 teens ill after eating drug-laced gummy bears

La PORTE COUNTY, Ind. (WLS) -- Police in Northwest Indiana say 11 teenagers were taken to hospitals on Thursday night after eating gummy bears laced with the active ingredient found in marijuana, THC.

According to the La Porte County Sheriff's office, a 19-year-old man called 911 and asked to go to an emergency room. The man said he had been camping with friends who had also eaten the gummy bears. Police say he didn't know where his friends were located because he wasn't familiar with the area.

Police located 10 other teenagers in a house on the 5200 North block of County Road 325 and say they had also eaten the gummy bears and felt ill. The La Porte County Sheriff said the teens complained of rapid heart rate, pain in their legs and blurred vision. Several suffered from hallucinations.

The culprit - gummy bears laced with THC, the main mind-altering ingredient in marijuana. Investigators determined that each had eaten one half of a drug-laced gummy bear before getting sick.

"The strength is so strong that it caused an adverse reaction in 11 people - not one person, not three - it wasn't just a small batch or a bad batch," said Capt. Kellems.

The sheriff's office says the teenagers were between 18 and 19 years old: six young men and five young women.

"You know when you put a can of Coke in front of me and I know I'm going to drink 16 ounces of Coca Cola, you know what's in it. When you take something that is made and manufactured in a state that unfortunately allows this type of thing, you don't know what you're getting," said Capt. Kellems.

This is the first time La Porte County has encountered a case like this.

Last December, 13 teenagers in Naperville were taken to the hospital after eating gummies also laced with marijuana.

Law enforcement and parents who spoke with ABC7 were concerned these edibles could end up in the hands of younger children.

"I have kids myself so I would be concerned a kid brings it to school, I mean it looks like gummy bears," said parent Stacey Hastis.

The case is being reviewed by the La Porte County prosecutor's office to see if the teenagers will face any criminal charges.

Investigators say they have the name of the person who sold the teenagers the drug-laced gummy bears and they believe the drugs may have come from a state where marijuana is legal.
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