K2 or synthesized pot is causing a massive problem in NYC.
According to News.AU:
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The drug, which cops say is prevalent in the homeless community, is a cheap high that also increases body temperature, leading users to strip naked.
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“A better term for it might be weaponised marijuana,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters at a press conference at police headquarters.
“A number of individuals, when under the influence of this drug, are relatively impervious to pain and also have significant enhancement of their physical strength,” he said.
“So our officers encountering these individuals face more significant risk of having to subdue these individuals and potentially receiving injuries.”
Spice users are also impervious to traditional take-down methods used by police, such as Tasers and mace, officials said.
Bratton illustrated his point by showing two videos of people high on the chemical-laced substance, including one in which a naked man is seen squatting in the middle of the street while screaming in front of an NYPD van.
Another video shows officers struggling to bring down a high, naked man who puts his fist through a picket fence and lunges at a female cop before being pepper sprayed. The rampaging man still manages to put up a fight as three officers wrestled him into a submission.
Frighteningly, it’s not just a problem in New York.
The Australian Drug Foundation warns about Spice on its website, which has been sold online since 2004.
In chillingly similar circumstances, police in Australia have told of synthetic cannabis users here running through plate-glass windows and attacking police cars while high.
“Synthetic cannabis is produced with man-made chemicals that create similar effects to delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis,” according to the ADF website, which lists stroke and even death as side effects.
“These powdered chemicals are mixed with solvents and added to herbs and sold in colourful, branded packets. It’s most commonly smoked and is sometimes drunk as a tea.”
Two men in Queensland died earlier this year after taking synthetic cannabis.
A 2012 study found 1.3 per cent of Australians have used the drug, 70 per cent of them being male.
Shipped from China, the United Kingdom and United States, the packets are sold as “legal highs” to teens and adults in legitimate stores such as sex shops and tobacconists and online for as little as $35 a gram.
“You’re going to see much more of it in the short term,” Bratton said of the drug as his city grapples with the problem. “Our concern in the potential overdose and death, the incredible number of people going to hospitals as well as those that we take into custody.”
Bratton said that while local politicians look to loosen marijuana laws, the synthetic stuff was wreaking havoc across New York.
“Ironically, even as the trend is to decriminalise and effectively pay less attention to marijuana, the synthetic marijuana issue is one of great and growing concern here in New York City,” he said.
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