Officials respond after spate of Kush-related illnesses

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Near the corner of Fannin and Cambridge Streets, you'll find Houston's so-called "Kush Corner."

The area inside Hermann Park should be a family friendly destination. Instead, you'll find open drug use. Many individuals use the street drug known as Kush to get high, according to first responders. The problem is only exacerbated in the summer heat.

Yesterday, paramedics rushed 16 people who they suspect overheated while using Kush to area hospitals.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner promised action today following that medical emergency. Turner's office told Eyewitness News to expect to see more officers patrolling the area. They also plan to equip park rangers with police radios and offer training on policing, trespassing law and homelessness.

"It's not just impacting Hermann Park. It's impacting the entire city, from southwest Houston to north Houston. There are hot spots where Kush usage and dealing is prevalent," said Marc Eichenbaum, who is the Special Assistant to the Mayor for Homeless Initiatives.

"It's nothing close to being marijuana. It's basically ground up potpourri sprayed with synthetic chemicals from China. You don't know what those chemicals are that you're putting in your body."

VIDEO: Multiple people at Hermann Park taken to hospital after possible overdose
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16 people in hospital after using kush in Hermann Park, Pooja Lodhia reports.

Eichenbaum said Kush is not a homeless issue. He stressed Kush is a public health emergency across the nation.

"Kush has been an issue that all cities across the nation are grappling with," said Eichenbaum. "No one has found the solution to it."
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