Lawmaker seeks to ban synthetic drugs after massive K2 overdose
Last week a mass overdose on K2, a synthetic drug, sent over 30 people to the hospital in Brooklyn.
Witnesses described people on the drug as zombies and cameras captured multiple people stammering through the streets, lying on sidewalks and leaning against trees.
Since the overdose, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has introduced a bill to make substances used to create K2 illegal. The legislation would put 22 chemicals, including strong variants of fentanyl, on the federal list of banned drugs.
"New York's most recent K2 binge that left our ER's bulging and streets strewn with stupefied users with zombie-like symptoms are a sign of what's to come if Congress doesn't act quickly," Senator Schumer said in a statement.
"We need a federal hammer to nail these toxic concoctions of synthetic drugs before things get worse. This federal legislation will ban 22 synthetic drugs, including powerful forms of fentanyl, crippling the unlawful chemists cooking up these drugs and the cartels that push them to our local stores and streets. Banning these drugs quickly will help the feds step up their game of whack-a-mole so that we can help stem the tide of synthetic drug use here in New York City and across the country."
According to the Health Department, K2 can cause extreme anxiety, confusion, paranoia, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, vomiting, seizures, fainting, kidney failure, and reduced blood supply to the heart.
More than 6,000 synthetic drug-related emergency department visits have occurred in New York City since 2015.