NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Dozens of people have been hospitalized in Newark, and police say it could be linked to K2.

As CBS2’s Reena Roy reported, patient after patient was rushed into ambulances, after they were spotted apparently unconscious or just out of it.

“I just seen a lot of people passed out either smoking or being passed out,” Military Park ambassador Hakkiem Ervin said, “In a zombie like state, like they don’t know what’s going on.”

Emergency crews took over the busy area near military park on Monday morning. Officials were investigating the incident as possible result of ingesting synthetic marijuana known as K2.

“I went to the bank and I saw a bunch of DEA agents over here by the park,” Kristine Brennan said.

Police said the first incident was reported around 8:15 a.m. Monday. They responded to nine other locations across the city after that. The situation became so widespread they even setup a staging area at Branch Brook Park as a precaution with ambulances from several counties on standby.

“Just seeing this in the area, I try to avoid it as much as I can,” Brennan said.

Police said there was also an influx of people sick from synthetic marijuana back in April.

“It’s an epidemic, it’s a bad problem, it’s not just today, it’s every day,” Ervin said. “I work four days a week, and we call the ambulances three to four times a week that I’m here.”

“They hanging their heads down, almost falling to the ground, you know laying around,” Mary Bellinger said.

Detectives from the Newark Narcotics and Criminal Intelligence units have launched an investigation into the issue.


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