In a really peculiar story out of New Haven, Connecticut, 71 people have overdosed on K2, a synthetic marijuana that is sold in convenience stores around the country. The story is particularly strange because most of the overdoses took place at New Haven Green, a park near Yale University, and most happened within three hours of each other. Whether a large group of homeless frequent the park regularly or any explanation as to why so many of the overdoses happened in the park has yet to be disclosed.
As of right now, the source of the K2 is not clear but three arrests have been made. Often K2, Spice and other forms of synthetic marijuana can be purchased in convenience stores, but as of now the source of the drug seems to have come from illegal dealings. Overdoses on this fake form of marijuana have been reported frequently throughout the Midwest and south over the last year or so. Overdoses like these also took place in the same park in Connecticut on the 4th of July. People have been reported to be bleeding from the eyes in some instances. In New Haven, victims were reportedly hallucinating, vomiting and barely conscious.
While the Cannabis sativa plant remains a Schedule 1 drug, these fake versions of marijuana that are made by people either in a lab or in some garage or basement somewhere are not illegal since they do not come from the plant itself. It begs the question why anyone would even bother purchasing or consuming synthetic marijuana in the first place. Is it simply the fact that synthetic marijuana is legal that they choose to consume it instead of the actual plant itself? These synthetic overdoses are simply adding to the list of reasons as to why marijuana should be a legal substance and why the current law as it stands is illogical.
The mayor of New Haven even had to address the people of his town since the unfortunate event has been getting nationwide coverage. “Today New Haven was on the front lines of a coast-to-coast struggle to combat the public health menace of illicit distribution and use of what appear to be tainted street drugs … I’m extremely grateful for the timely and effective work of first responders who helped revive, transport, and save these victims,” Mayor Toni Harp issued in a statement.
Medics had to use a drug antidote called Narcan on several of the victims near to death. Having not experienced many mass overdoses, authorities only had 25 doses of Narcan on hand at the time, but are calling for more in case further occurrences happen. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy also issued a statement. “The substance behind these overdoses is highly dangerous and must be avoided. The state Department of Public Health and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services have been assisting New Haven officials throughout the day.”
Do you think these cases of synthetic marijuana overdoses further the efforts to see the marijuana plant rescheduled and made legal nationwide, or hurt those efforts?