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Mass Hospitalizations in New York Due to Synthetic Marijuana


Last month several people in Brooklyn, New York were hospitalized due to “. . . a toxic batch” of synthetic marijuana usually referred to as “Spice” or “K2” (Kim, 2018).

There is a discrepancy between news organizations about how many people were hospitalized, with CNN claiming twenty-five and The New York Times reported fourteen (Kim, 2018). Regardless, the victims “. . . were found unconscious, struggling to breathe and vomiting” and “all were treated with naloxone” to reverse the effects (Kim, 2018).

This is not the first time Brooklyn has seen a mass hospitalization or overdose from synthetic marijuana. Addiction news website The Fix reported that “In 2016, thirty-three were hospitalized over an eleven-hour period. K2 was also suspected of being the cause of the incident” (Kim, 2018). Some instances of synthetic marijuana poisoning has even been attributed to rat poison.

Many states have banned synthetic marijuana because they are “difficult to stamp out in part because their makeup is constantly changing, a problem that also makes it difficult to assess how dangerous they are” (Kim, 2018).