“Synthetic pot,” sold in corner stores as herbal incense or potpourri, is becoming a dangerous scourge in the city, says the New York Daily News. Dozens of people looking for a quick high are winding up in emergency rooms with alarming symptoms ranging from hallucinations and seizures to panic attacks and violent behavior. The problem is growing so fast that a major medical journal issued a warning last week about about the substance, often referred to as K2 or Spice.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is pushing for a nationwide ban that would make it illegal to hawk the condom-sized packets, which sell for $15 to $75 at stores and online. “People have the mind-set that this is 'just pot ,' but it's not,” said Dr. Lewis Nelson, a medical toxicologist at New York University Langone and Bellevue hospitals and director of training at the city's poison control center. “Synthetic marijuana is really a misnomer. It's really quite different, and the effects are much more unpredictable. “It's dangerous, and there is no quality control in what you are getting.” The Daily News found it for sale in smoke shops and delis from the Village to the Rockaways.