LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Police in southwest Louisiana are warning residents that dozens of people have been quickly knocked out by ingesting synthetic marijuana.

The Lake Charles Police Department says it has handled 30 incidents in the past few days, and Acadian Ambulance reports taking about 45 people to hospitals since Friday. A police department statement Tuesday says the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office also has dealt with similar calls.

Police say a drug task force is trying to understand what is making the chemical so dangerous.

Synthetic marijuana has been illegal in Louisiana since 2010, but can be found under names such as K2 and Spice. Police say new brands called Bubblegum and Gumbo have surfaced and may be those causing the health problems.