We reported last week about the New Haven, Connecticut incident where 70 people overdosed on what is often referred to as synthetic marijuana. To even included the name marijuana to describe the substances these individuals ingested is not only inaccurate but it is misleading. The more we looked into this epidemic that has spread across the country the more we realized how prevalent it actually is and thought to create a clear separation between it and the state legal cannabis industry.
K2 or Spice has been a product that could be purchased in convenience stores, but you can find the disgusting substances with all sorts of names and different packaging. K2 and Spice have become the nickname for homemade substances meant to induce a high feeling that truly cannot be compared to the psychoactive effects of ingesting THC from the actual marijuana plant. K2 can be made from using common household chemicals like rat or roach poison. One of its most common occurrences seems to be within U.S. prison systems. A way for prisoners to find a high and get through their day, K2 has been responsible for a record setting increase in the amount of overdose deaths by prisoners.
It has hit Florida’s prison system particularly hard. One institution southwest of Daytona, the Tomoka Correctional Institution Work Camp, has seen so many of its inmates overdose on K2 that it is drawing attention throughout the country. One former guard at the facility compared the inmates to the “Walking Dead” and recently told the Miami Herald, “Everywhere you turn, inmates are walking around like zombies. Every other inmate coming into the chow hall is high.” The correctional institute even created a video that they make every inmate watch once they arrive. Check it out just below here, but be warned that it is graphic and disturbing.
The use of these synthetic drugs is not isolated by any means to the Tomoka Correctional Institution Work Camp. Michelle Glady, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Corrections recently made a statement about all of Florida’s prisons. “It is a statewide issue. The number of incidents at Tomoka is not disproportionate with the rest of the state.” In fact, the rate of deaths in Florida prisons will likely be at an all-time high in 2018 on pace to exceed 500. According to an audit by the Florida Department of Corrections, the leading cause of so-called accidental deaths or drug overdoses is synthetic marijuana.
With access to same household cleaning chemicals, prisoners are able to quickly create K2 and apparently people outside of prison are doing the exact same thing. It is bewildering to think that while ingesting these substances or selling them is certainly illegal, the penalty is far greater than the actual marijuana plant. There are no recorded instances of anyone ever dying from of an overdose of marijuana or having reactions nearly as severe as these inmates experience. The hypocrisy is staggering. What would you think if it became a policy to allow inmates access to real marijuana? It seems as though they are willing to ingest nearly anything to be able to escape for a while no matter what anyways.