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Synthetic marijuana has popped up like the plague and ravaged communities within the five boroughs. However, there has been an even more alarming number of synthetic marijuana incidents in Queens, specifically Jamaica, Queens. Synthetic marijuana is being sold under many guises at local bodegas. This has become a concern to Townsend Harris students, as Jamaica Center is a metro hub that many pass through day in and day out.
The Jamaica bus terminal has recently become the site of many hospitalizations for young men who started convulsing after overdosing on synthetic marijuana. Junior Shenez Stuart, one of the many students who frequently visit Jamaica Center, said, “I’m concerned about this sudden spike in overdoses in the area. I do travel through here frequently and have seen people smoke weed out in the open. I’m not surprised that people [now smoke] synthetic marijuana in public.” Station managers have become involved as well and have prompted the police to begin a crackdown on the substance.
Those against the banning of weed stand by the claim that marijuana is a natural substance. Though the misleading “all natural” labeling may indicate otherwise, the synthetic cannabinoids that this substance contains are far from natural. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that are responsible for the high the smoker receives. While normally they would act on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, the effects of synthetic cannabinoids are unpredictable as they are more potent than the Tetrahydrocannabinol found in natural marijuana.