Police are investigating after a young Papakura man died in hospital after smoking synthetic cannabis.

The 24-year-old became seriously ill on Monday after he was believed to have smoked the drug. He died in Middlemore Hospital in the early hours of this morning.

Police will continue to investigate the death on behalf of the coroner, who will ultimately determine the cause of death, said Acting Detective Inspector Peter Florence.

There were seven other deaths linked to synthetic cannabis last month, as people reportedly suffer seizures and other life-threatening illnesses after smoking it.

Synthetic highs have now been linked to eight deaths. Photo / File
Synthetic highs have now been linked to eight deaths. Photo / File

Police are continuing to target manufacturers and suppliers of synthetic cannabis and other psychoactive substances.

"In the past month, multiple search warrants have taken place across Auckland with a number of individuals arrested who are appearing before the courts," Florence said in a statement.

A raid in Ranui last week saw almost 50 bags of synthetic cannabis seized, while a recent synthetic cannabis operation in Avondale resulted in 12 arrests.

Police are urging the public to come forward and report anyone known to be selling synthetic cannabis or other illegal substances.

Information can be reported to your local police station or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

"Police are also aware of reports of a 'bad batch' of synthetic cannabis following the recent cases of deaths in Auckland that may be linked to synthetic cannabis use.

"However we have no scientific evidence at this stage to suggest that this is the case."

The police investigations into these recent deaths remain ongoing and further tests are being carried out.


"Taking any illegal drug or substance comes with its own risks, and the compound commonly found in synthetic cannabis is highly dangerous on its own - regardless of whether it's been laced with any other chemicals."