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What Is K2?: 5 Things To Know About Synthetic Pot That Times Square Killer Was High On

Thu, May 18, 2017 10:12pm EDT by Beth Shilliday 2 Comments

So scary! The man who plowed his car into pedestrians in Times Square on May 18 is believed to have been high on synthetic marijuana known as K2. We’ve got five things to know about the substance that can make users paranoid, violent and delusional.

Why would anyone use this stuff?!? K2 is a synthetic form of marijuana that has some horrible and really scary side effects. Richard Rojas, 26, is believed to been under the influence of it when he plowed his car through New York’s Times Square, killing an 18-year-old Michigan girl and seriously injuring 22 other victims. “You were supposed to shoot me. I wanted to kill them,” he told police, who think he smoked K2 just before going on his deadly drive. We’ve got five things to know about this dangerous drug.

1. K2 is synthetic and in no way related to real marijuana plants. 

The drug is a mixture of industrial chemicals that are intended to have the same effect as THC, real weed’s main compound. The mixture is then sprayed on dry plant materials. It’s smoked the same way marijuana is, but can also be ingested with water.

2. K2’s effects are far more unpredictable than regular marijuana. 

While it mimics some of the highs of naturally grown weed, some users have become violent, delusional, anxious and combative, with other side effects including paranoia and hallucinations.

3. K2 is cheap and used to have widespread availability.

A joint can cost as little as $1, making it popular among poorer users and homeless populations. For years it was legal and sold over the counter at convenience stores and smoke shops, but many cities have moved to have the sale of K2 banned.

4. K2 use has caused a dramatic spike in emergency room visits.

The epidemic and number of overdoses involving K2 has flooded emergency rooms in the U.S. In 2015 alone, poison centers throughout the country experienced a 229 percent increase in calls related to its use, according to the National Center For Addiction and Drug Abuse.

4. K2 has a number of other nicknames.

It’s most common other nickname is “spice” but it is also known as Yucatan fire, green giant, skunk, moon rocks, genie and zohai.

HollywoodLifers, have you heard of K2 before? Do you know anyone who has used it?