8 Hospitalised In Lanzarote After Drugs Hidden In Paella

Story ByAna LacasaSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCentral European News

Eight people have been hospitalised after reportedly eating a huge amount of cannabis allegedly hidden in a paella in a bar in Lanzarote and feeling “sick” while others reportedly felt “euphoric”.

The people, whose names and nationalities have not been revealed, were hospitalised in the emergency room of the Doctor Jose Molina Orosa Hospital, in Arrecife, in Lanzarote, in the south-western Spanish region of Canary Island, a well-known tourist spot in Spain.

Picture Credit: CEN

According to the statement of the victims, the drug might have been hidden in the paella they all shared in the bar-restaurant which reportedly did not have the correct authorisation to serve food.

Noelia Umpierrez, the Director of the Health Department of Lanzarote, confirmed to local media that the analysis of the patients was positive for cannabis, but so far it is unknown if the drug was in the food “which will be discovered by the police, as it is not food in a bad state,” she commented.

A spokesperson from the Health Department confirmed to Central European News (CEN) that all eight patients have now been released from hospital.

All of them were part of a group of people participating in a training course. It is said that the paella was ordered as part of the lunch before the course started, local media reported.

Umpierrez told reporters: “After eating and going back to the course they were attending, they started to feel sick, some of them were also euphoric, some of them with an increased heartbeat and they called an ambulance. They were attended in the emergency room of the hospital where they said that they had not taken cannabis consciously.”

Doctors in the emergency room ruled out food poisoning as nobody was vomiting.

The owner of the restaurant, whose name has not been reported, denied being involved in the incident and asked the local police in Arrecife to close the place where the ingredients are kept so that the health department could check them.

On Monday, two officers from the local police and a worker from the Health Department investigated the restaurant and according to the owner, they did not find any cannabis nor food in a bad state.

Local newspaper La Voz de Lanzarote reported that local police closed the kitchen in order to investigate the case.

According to Umpierrez, the restaurant will be sanctioned as it does not have the authorisation to offer food.

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Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.