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K2 zombies in Brooklyn: This Week’s Zombie Addiction (1/2)

July 16, 2016

This is the first part of a new collection of some of this week’s “zombies”. There are two posts in this dump. I hope to also add a third post of explanation later. As always, there are more “zombies” @LawZombie on Twitter.

In the past few days there have been two viral media “zombie” news developments: PokemonGo and an outbreak of bad synthetic marijuana, called K2, in Brooklyn. Neither the idea of social media zombies or drug zombies is new. Nor is either’s association with youth culture or hipster Brooklyn culture, or augmented reality, fantasy worlds, being zoned out. Still there is some irony in the legal fake marijuana being more dangerous than the illegal natural plant product. And in public safety officials denigrating the popular activities of the public, as if the public is “stupid” instead of that stupidity being what they are to protect and serve. Both stories highlight a paradox of addictive behavior and questions of protecting people from themselves. Also the Streisand effect that insulting it may promote it. Although, maybe that’s somebody’s goal? The GPS data in PokemonGo will be a boon for law enforcement, and K2 Zombie has a lobbying group.

So in this first post, this week’s K2 zombies, and then in the next post, PokemonGo zombies. Both of these posts are simply collections of a lot of media links from the past few days. Either the title of the article has “zombie” or the text used “zombie”.

So let’s begin:

NY1: “Renewed Warnings After 33 Allegedly Overdose on K2 in Brooklyn“:

When NY1 visited this neighborhood earlier in the day, we found stumbling people bracing to hold themselves up at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Broadway. Some residents call it Zombieland.

AMNY: “Brooklyn’s zombie apocalypse with K2
AMNY: “Apparent synthetic pot overdose in Brooklyn hospitalizes dozens, NYPD says“:

Thirty-three people were hospitalized from an apparent synthetic marijuana overdose Tuesday morning after they were discovered in and around a Bedford-Stuyvesant building, police said.

Authorities received a 911 call about men smoking marijuana at 362 Stockton St. around 9:38 a.m. and found “multiple [people] with an altered mental state,” according to an FDNY spokesman.

“It was like ‘The Walking Dead.’ A zombie scene,” said Brian Arthur, 38.

10TV: “Synthetic marijuana overdose turns dozens into “zombies” in NYC

BizJournal: “After K2 overdoses turn 33 into zombies, New York cracks down on retailers

NYTimes: 33 Suspected of Overdosing on Synthetic Marijuana in Brooklyn (with video link):

There is a word that local residents and workers use to describe a group of drug users whose presence they say has grown around a busy Brooklyn transit hub: zombies. What was once a few familiar faces has turned into a tribe of strangers, walking around, staggering and looking lost, in the throes, it is believed, of the ill effects of K2, a synthetic drug that officials in New York have been working hard to eradicate.

NYPost: Cops on zombie patrol in wake of mass K2 overdose

Cops are corralling K2 users and forcing them into ambulances to make sure they’re not turning into “zombies” following the mass overdose in Brooklyn on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, surveillance video captured near the corner of Broadway and Stockton Street during Wednesday’s outbreak shows the terrifying moment a family of tourists come face to face with one of the “zombies” who apparently overdosed.

And more from the NYPost, article originally titled: “I’m one of the 33 zombies who overdosed on k2” and later became: “I feel bad for scaring this family while I was high on K2” has interview with one of the victims, initials J.J.:

This tourist family turned down the wrong Brooklyn block — and came face-to-face with a K2 “zombie” overdosing on the synthetic weed, a new video shows.

Yahoo: “Paralysed people: ‘Drugged zombies’ high on dangerous designer drug swarm suburban streets“:

The ‘zombie apocalypse’ has taken over Brooklyn with a mass of overdoses recorded in a single day all reportedly caused by the insidious synthetic drug K2. Users have been dubbed ‘stoned zombies’ after 33 people were admitted to hospital on Tuesday. Local authorities labelled the situation as “Zombieland.”

9news: “‘Zombies’ high on dangerous drug swarm Brooklyn“:

Stoned “zombies” have taken over a Brooklyn street with 33 overdoses recorded in a single day from the synthetic drug K2.

ABC7NY: “Protest against K2 held in Bedford-Stuyvesant, led by Doe Fund“:

K2 users are left stumbling around. Others become violent, unpredictable and appear to be in a zombie-like state.

And, some explanation of the neurosciences:

MarijuanaTimes: “Massive K2 Overdose in New York Lands 33 in the Hospital“:

One witness recalled it to be “like a scene out of a zombie movie, a horrible scene,” when he spoke to the New York Times. Having seen it myself, synthetic cannabis is dangerous and the witness said he saw three people collapse, which wouldn’t surprise me at all. While synthetic cannabis does hit the same receptors in your brain as the real deal, it doesn’t treat them the same and the synthetic cannabinoids have not been tested on humans, so the effects are unpredictable and can (and likely will) change from batch to batch.

LiveScience: Why Does Synthetic Marijuana Make People Act Like Zombies? also available at CBSNews: “Why does synthetic marijuana make people act like zombies?“:

Other changes in mood, thinking and perception have been linked with synthetic cannabinoids. Their use has been associated with paranoia, which is an unreasonable distrust of others; anxiety; panic attacks; and psychotic episodes. Together, these mind-altering behaviors have been labeled as the “zombie effect,” according to K2/Zombie DC, a public-education campaign based in Washington, D.C., that uses zombie-themed messages to raise awareness among teens and parents of these drugs’ dangers.

Regular marijuana contains the cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which can attach to receptors in the brain to activate the release of chemical messengers that can make people feel paranoid or anxious, he explained. But the marijuana plant also produces another compound known as cannabidiol, or CBD, which stops the brain from continuing to release these chemical messengers, he said. As a result, when people smoke pot, “CBD reduces the negative effects of THC,” D’Souza said. However, this is not the case when people use K2 or spice, he said. Although synthetic cannabinoids contain THC, they don’t contain CBD, so the release of chemical messengers in the brain goes unchecked, thus creating more undesirable effects, D’Souza speculated. When young people hear the term “synthetic marijuana” or “fake weed” to describe synthetic cannabinoid products, it gives them the false impression that spice or K2 will have effects similar to those of marijuana. “But there is a massive difference between spice and marijuana,” D’Souza said.

But see also, RawStory: “Here are 5 important ways ‘Synthetic Marijuana’ does not make people act like zombies

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