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September 16, 2019 - 12:00 am

SPIKED CBD-NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina officials find spiked CBD sold in the state

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina authorities have encountered products marketed as delivering the cannabis extract CBD but that instead were spiked with synthetic marijuana.

The state crime lab found nearly 30 spiked products as of earlier this year. Nearly all were vape products.

The Associated Press gathered the results for an investigation into how some operators are capitalizing on the CBD boom by substituting a dangerous street drug for the real thing.

That practice has sent dozens of people nationwide to emergency rooms, including teens and service members in North Carolina. Unlike CBD, synthetic marijuana gives an intense high.

In all, lab testing shows spiked vapes or edibles such as gummy bears marketed as CBD in at least 13 states.

Industry representatives acknowledge spiking, but say many companies are reputable.

SPIKED CBD

Vapes spiked with illegal drugs show dark side of CBD craze

An Associated Press investigation shows a dark side to booming sales of the cannabis extract CBD. Some people are substituting cheap and dangerous street drugs for the real thing.

As a result, vapes and other products marketed as helping a range of ailments instead have sent dozens of people to emergency rooms because they were spiked with synthetic marijuana.

Lab testing commissioned by AP shows some CBD vape products available at stores or online contain synthetic marijuana commonly known as K2 or spice. Unlike real CBD, which doesn't have psychoactive qualities, synthetic marijuana gives an intense high.

Industry representatives acknowledge spiking is an issue, but say many companies are reputable.

But with drug enforcement authorities busy fighting the opioid epidemic, manufacturers of spiked products operate with impunity.

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Contact AP's investigative team at Investigative@ap.org.

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Mohr reported from Carlsbad, California; Panama City, Florida; and Jackson, Mississippi. Contributing to this report were Allen Breed in Lexington and Ninety Six, South Carolina; Juliet Linderman in New York, Philadelphia and Towson, Maryland; Reese Dunklin in Dallas; Krysta Fauria in Carlsbad and Los Angeles; Carla K. Johnson in Seattle; Justin Pritchard in Washington and Los Angeles; Rhonda Shafner in New York; Ted Warren in Grants Pass, Oregon; and Mitch Weiss in Lexington, South Carolina.

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People experiencing problems with a product labeled as CBD can reach a local poison control center by calling 1-800-222-1222.

OPIOID CRISIS-CONTINUING TOLL

Amid settlement talks, opioids keep taking a grim toll

While the nation's attorneys general debate a legal settlement with Purdue Pharma, the opioid epidemic associated with the company's blockbuster painkiller OxyContin rages on.

The drugs still kill tens of thousands of people each year with no end in sight.

Pennsylvania's York County investigated eight suspected overdose deaths in a single week of August — four in 24 hours. Coroner Pam Gay says it's going to take a while to see a decline.

Purdue has entered a proposed settlement with about half the states and 2,000 local governments. But attorneys general in Pennsylvania and many other states have come out against the deal, calling it insufficient. They vow to continue litigation against the company and the family that owns it.

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Associated Press writers Emery P. Dalesio in Raleigh, North Carolina; Don Babwin in Elk Grove Village, Illinois; Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia; and Mike Stobbe in New York City contributed to this report.

INFANT DEATH

NC man charged with second-degree murder in baby's death

MORGANTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man charged in an 8-week-old baby's death faces his first court appearance this week.

The Burke County Sheriff's Office said a second-degree murder warrant was served Friday on 23-year-old Maurice DaShawn Springs of Morganton. He was in the Burke-Catawba jail without bond awaiting a Monday court date.

The sheriff's office says deputies responded Sept. 4 to a report of an unresponsive male infant brought to a Morganton emergency room by his parents. The child died five days later in a Charlotte hospital.

The News Herald of Morganton reports search warrants filed in the case indicate the infant had a traumatic brain injury from shaken baby syndrome.

Brought to the magistrate on Friday, Springs shook his head no when reporters asked him whether he had committed the crime.

GUNFIRE-ROWAN

NC deputies: Gunfire exchange leaves 1 dead, 2 wounded

WOODLEAF, N.C. (AP) — Deputies in a North Carolina Piedmont county say they need more information about a weekend exchange of gunfire that they believe left one man dead and likely two others wounded.

Media outlets report Rowan County Sheriff's Office deputies going to Woodlief found 35-year-old Robin Otto Worth Jr. of Salisbury dead from a gunshot wound about 4 a.m. Saturday.

The sheriff's office also believes two men with gunshot wounds who went to a Statesville emergency room several hours before are connected to the Woodlief violence. The sheriff's office says those men were uncooperative with hospital staff.

ADULT STORE-BIAS SUIT

Bias lawsuit filed against NC-based adult store chain

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina-based adult sex toy and accessories retail chain has been sued on allegations that job applicants are denied sales jobs at stores because they are men.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuit last week on behalf of Christopher Kilby against a limited-liability company for Adam & Eve. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the lawsuit alleges discrimination against male applicants at North Carolina and South Carolina stores.

The lawsuit says Kilby sought sales positions in Raleigh and Clayton, but workers told him men are hired only for receiving and unpacking positions. EEOC says it wants financial compensation for male applicants and the chain to stop hiring unlawfully based on gender.

A phone message left at Adam & Eve's limited liability company wasn't returned Sunday.

BC-TROPICAL WEATHER-BAHAMAS-THE LATEST

The Latest: Humberto moves away from Bahamas

MIAMI (AP) — Gusty winds from Tropical Storm Humberto are still affecting portions of the northwestern Bahamas, which is struggling to recover from Hurricane Dorian.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center expects Humberto to strengthen into a hurricane later Sunday or Sunday night, moving "well offshore of the east coast of Florida during the next day or so" before moving away from the U.S.

With winds of 60 mph (97 kph), Humberto is around 135 miles (217 kilometers) north-northwest of Great Abaco island in the Bahamas and around 175 miles (282 kilometers) east of Cape Canaveral, Florida. It's moving toward the north-northwest at a speed near 7 mph (11 kph).

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect, although forecasters say Humberto could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions from east-central Florida to North Carolina.

PLANE CRASH

Former NASCAR driver killed in single-engine plane crash

STERLING, Conn. (AP) — Modified stock car great Michael Stefanik has been killed in a single-engine plane crash. He was 61.

State police say the crash happened Sunday afternoon in Sterling near the Rhode Island state line. They say the single-engine, single-seat Aerolite 103 took off from the Riconn Airport in Coventry, Rhode Island, and had been turning back toward the airfield when it crashed into a wooded area near the airport. NASCAR confirmed that Stefanik was killed in the accident.

Stefanik won nine NASCAR series championships to tie Hall of Famer Richie Evans for the record, topping the Whelen Modified Tour seven times and Busch North Series twice. He also raced in what are now called the NASCAR Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck series, taking rookie of the year honors at age 41 in the truck series in 1999.

"Mike Stafanik was one of the most successful drivers in NASCAR history, but even more so, he was a true representative of our sport," NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France said in a statement. "His tough, competitive nature and excellence on the race track won him the admiration of cans and competitors alike."

Stenanik holds the Whelen Modified Tour record with 74 victories from 1985 to 2014. A six-time nominee for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, he had 12 victories the Busch North Series.

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