K2, a controversial synthetic marijuana mostly sold at urban convenience stores, was responsible for the hospitalization of 33 residents in Brooklyn, N.Y. this week. The Bedford-Stuyvesant section of the borough is an apparent hotbed for K2 activity, and authorities are scrambling to get answers for the growing epidemic.
Several New York outlets, including the New York Post and the New York Times, zeroed in on the mass overdose that took place on Tuesday. People who spoke with the two aforementioned outlets confirmed that the section of town attracts a high number of synthetic weed users but yesterday’s incident appears to be the first of its kind.
From the Times:
On Tuesday, the longstanding problem became a local crisis on this gritty patch, on the border of two developing neighborhoods, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick. In the area around the subway station at Myrtle Avenue and Broadway, emergency workers transported 33 people who were suspected of overdosing on K2 to hospitals, the police said. The powerful drug, also known as Spice or synthetic marijuana, has grown in popularity in recent years despite public warnings.
Eight people were taken from the Stockton Street area to Woodhull Medical Center suffering from “altered mental states,” lethargy and respiratory issues around 9:40 a.m., a spokesman for the Fire Department said. Others were found in the surrounding area.
“It’s like a scene out of a zombie movie, a horrible scene,” said Brian Arthur, 38, who watched three people collapse as he made his way to work in the morning and began live-streaming the episode on Facebook. “This drug truly paralyzed people.”
The Post‘s print cover story, titled “Zombie Land,” featured cops tending to a young woman allegedly zonked out on the fake flowers. A deli in the area has been investigated for selling the batch, with one worker arrested for the unlawful sale of synthetic cannabis. All 33 individuals that overdose are expected to survive.
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