Spice, Black Mamba, or K2 has been on the shelves of popular tobacco shops all over the country since 2006. The synthetic cannabis is a man-made designer drug that causes rapid heartbeat, hallucinations, and seizures – and even more disturbing side effects.
The origins of the faux cannabis derive from Clemson University professor Dr. John Huffman‘s studies in 1995. Dr. Huffman discovered the concoction of lethal chemicals was used in China and Korea as plant stimulants. After using the spices in his research for AIDS, chemotherapy, and multiple sclerosis, he synthesized the drug and has since distanced himself from it.
All Things Dope is now delving into the world of synthetic marijuana, packaged as potpourri in Harlem, New York. Over a decade later, the drug is still popular for people who want an instant high. Director Jemaray says his interest in the drug was heightened after he noticed its high usage in his neighborhood.
“I just thought that people were on crack and doped up on a corner in my neighborhood,” he said. “But when I researched it, I found out that it was this new synthetic substitute for weed (K2), I started to do some research and was really disturbed by who was selling it and how it was making people feel.”
K2 and its many aliases have been linked to three deaths in the past three years. In 2013, one man who was high on the drug rode outside a subway car in New York and was pronounced dead on the scene. Alaska native Kurtis Hildreth, 18, was found dead with a pipe filled with the spice in January. Jesse Highfrom Amarillo, Texas was pronounced dead after consuming the drug from a smoking shop. All deaths have been deemed accidental.
Check out the segment covered by comedian Kenny Warren, as he and Jemaray take a deeper look at the faces of the lethal drug.