NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York is holding its first-ever summit on synthetic marijuana.
Law enforcement officials, state and city lawmakers and health experts are taking part in the summit, which is being moderated by State Sen. Jeff Klein at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.
“It is becoming not only a statewide, but a national problem,” Klein told 1010 WINS. “We’re losing young people, unfortunately, everyday.”
In April, synthetic marijuana, also know as K2, was found to be responsible for 150 emergency room visits across New York City in just a one-week period, according to the health department.
“The consequences have become lethal — erratic behavior, ugly and dangerous mood swings, epileptic seizures — and it’s really becoming a problem not only in our local hospitals but even in our prisons,” Klein said.
The summit aims to find coordinated solutions to end the K2 epidemic.
“The only way to eradicate K2 is by drying up the source and I think we’re doing that on a grassroots level but we still need statewide legislation to fully be able to prosecute these cases,” Klein said.
Earlier this week, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed lawsuits against two companies for allegedly selling designer drugs with inadequate label information about ingredients, correct usage or health warnings.
Last Wednesday, the New York City Council passed three bills to stop the sale of the drug and help police in their efforts to stop its use.