Synthetic Marijuana Results in Mass Overdose in New York City

Brooklyn, New York’s Bedford-Stuyvesant section, had a recent drug-related scare. Thirty-three people were sickened after smoking and overdosing on K2, which is a synthetic form of marijuana. Witnesses reported seeing dozens of people, all around the same block in the neighborhood, lying on the ground and shaking. Those affected were taken to local emergency rooms and were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

From AP News:

Though K2 affects the same area of the brain as marijuana, it contains chemicals made in laboratories and sprayed onto dry leaves. These chemicals are not derived from the marijuana plant, according to the Health Department.

K2 can cause extreme anxiety, confusion, paranoia, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, vomiting, fainting, kidney failure and reduced blood supply to the heart.

While marijuana in its natural state has shown not to have adverse effects, As seen in this recent incident, the synthetic form of the drug is wreaking havoc across the country. Officials have said that increased knowledge of the dangers of K2 has resulted in a “significant decline in ER visits related to [the synthetic marijuana],” which has been outlawed in New York City since 2015.