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K2 Still A Problem in NY: Two Deaths Officially Tied to Synthetic Marijuana in Less Than One Month

  • K2 Still A Problem in NY: Two Deaths Officially Tied to Synthetic Marijuana in Less Than One Month

    K2 Still A Problem in NY: Two Deaths Officially Tied to Synthetic Marijuana in Less Than One Month

    With drugs like Flakka, Molly, and Fentanyl making the circuits and causing massive damages, it’s easy to think that other drugs have decreased in use and are perhaps less of a threat now. How nice it would be if that were true.

    Much like heroin and cocaine, which were once legal and widely used before the dangers were fully understood, synthetic marijuana is still causing trouble despite it’s now illegal status. The drug, known as K2 and Spice, was declared a Schedule 1 Drug in 2013 yet many continue to smoke it out of the false belief that it is safe and legal.

    New York Daily News reports the second death officially contributed to synthetic marijuana occurred just yesterday- October 8th- when a woman was found dead in a park in East Harlem.

    The woman reportedly had a fatal overdose after a night of drinking and smoking Spice with a friend. The man would wave down police around 6:40 am when she collapsed, vomited, and stopped breathing. She was pronounced dead at the scene and medical examiners determined the synthetic marijuana was the direct cause for her death.

    Just three weeks ago the Daily News reported the what is believed to be the first death in the state officially contributed to K2. Oscar Ramos was a 38 year old father of two with a third on the way. He had recently been released following a 17 year prison sentence and thus did not know the dangers of the so-called ‘safe and legal alternative to marijuana.’ Family members believe this was the first time he used the drug and unfortunately it was his last.

    Some naive New Yorkers may continue to believe they are above the effects of synthetic marijuana, authorities have taken notice and are taking steps to help eradicate the problem. Some bodegas in the city continue to sell the dangerous drug by labelling it an ‘incense.’ Though some packaging labels it “not for human consumption,” the availability of the product in corner stores for only a few dollars is a massive contribution to the problem.

    New laws in the city would make sale of Spice a crime and stores found in violation would face thousands of dollars in fines. It would also increase penalties for individuals selling the products, which was a mere $500 fine. Now sales of K2 in New York City is a misdemeanor and violators face up to one year in jail and $50,000 in fines. Store caught in violation face similar fines and revocation of their tobacco selling licenses for multiple offenses.

    Image: “Corner Store at Jinnah Market” by Executioner. Licensed under CC by 3.0.

    Do you think New York City is on the right track with these new laws, or should they be stricter? Comment below with your thoughts!

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