Officials call for synthetic marijuana criminalization
Police and public officials gathered Tuesday to call for swift legislation that would criminalize the sale of synthetic marijuana linked to an abundance of hospital visits across Long Island.
Steve Chassman, of Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, says the synthetic marijuana known as K2 does not work like the plant form.
"Unlike marijuana, people don't get docile. They get very aggressive and agitated," says Chassman. "They experience what's called a psychotic break or a break in what's real versus what's surreal."
So far this year, 15 people have died from synthetic marijuana use in the United States. There have been no deaths in New York.
The state Health Department says there have been 10 times as many emergency room visits between June and August because of K2 as compared to last year.