Fearing that Bronx becoming K2 capital of NYC, state senator pushes for tougher laws

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Kemberly Richardson has the story (WABC)

Police are cracking down on a drug that is gaining popularity, and newly released video shows just how easy it is buy synthetic marijuana known as K2.

In the Bronx, authorities are are seeing a spike in emergency room visits because of the drug.

"This has become a deadly epidemic," state Senator Jeff Klein said. "And the Bronx is the center of this epidemic."

K2, also known as Spice, is a dried organic plant substance sprayed with chemicals, and when smoked, it can send someone on a dangerous high that can last up to three days.

And so officials in the Bronx are sounding the alarm, worried the borough is quickly becoming the K2 capital of the city. At one hospital in just one month, more than 100 people came through the medical and psychiatric emergency departments openly admitting they were high on K2.

Klein and his team set up an undercover operation at a store on East 187th Street and scored K2 at just $5 a bag. There is a ban in place with fines up to $500, but Klein says it's not enough. So he is introducing legislation that would make it a felony, with stiffer fines and possible jail time.

"First and foremost, my legislation also is part of the general business law," he said. "Make it a $2,000 fine for the first offense, $5,000 fine for a second offense, and finally, three strikes you're out. You sell it three times, you lose your beer license, your cigarette license, as well as your lottery license. That will send a clear message that business owners should not sell this illicit substance."

Also needed, he says, are testing kits for police to carry on the streets.
Related Topics:
marijuanaillegal drugsdrug bustNew York CityBelmont
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