Earlier this week, New Yorkers experienced what is possibly the largest mass-overdose on K2 (Spice or Synthetic Cannabis) seen since the drug started to gain popularity about a decade ago. Calls started coming in one by one to 911 operators – more than two dozen people were found lying on the sidewalks or leaning against trees or fire hydrants – some shaking as if shivering severely or having a seizure. It is believed to be a massive group overdose on synthetic marijuana.
One of the main reasons that people enjoy cannabis and advocate for it so often is the fact that it is one of the safest recreational substances you can ingest. When you look at the effects of cannabis – even a cannabis overdose – you will find that they are far milder than the effects of other popular drugs like alcohol, cocaine and many more. Unfortunately, due to cannabis status as an illegal drug, many who would love to consume it have no choice but to abstain due to work or other obligations that would require drug testing.
Since cannabis will show up in your system for around 30 days (more or less depending on a number of factors) – making it hard to hide in a urinalysis – in the late 2000s, a substance came on the market that attempts to mimic the effects of cannabis, while having the advantage of being totally legal. The marijuana look-alike (which doesn’t even always look like the real deal) goes by the name of K2 or Spice – and it’s become a real problem in the United States and around the world.
It’s gotten out of hand,” Gonzalez said. “They even sleep in the street, we have to walk around them. It’s just too much to keep under control.”
The mass-overdose happened on a street corner in Brooklyn, New York – a total of 33 individuals were brought to the hospital in non-life threatening condition after the emergency calls were made. It has gotten bad in some areas, and Brooklyn is one of them.
One witness recalled it to be “like a scene out of a zombie movie, a horrible scene,” when he spoke to the New York Times. Having seen it myself, synthetic cannabis is dangerous and the witness said he saw three people collapse, which wouldn’t surprise me at all. While synthetic cannabis does hit the same receptors in your brain as the real deal, it doesn’t treat them the same and the synthetic cannabinoids have not been tested on humans, so the effects are unpredictable and can (and likely will) change from batch to batch.
So many people would stop using this substance that has proven to be both addictive and dangerous (two things cannabis has been proven time and again NOT to be) if marijuana were legal. This only started as a way to try and get stoned without fear of failing a random drug test – if we took away that fear, no one would bother with K2. If we could manage that, we could prevent massive overdoses like these from happening in the future.