NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - K2 has officially been KO'd in New York City. On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed three bills into law that make selling and manufacturing synthetic marijuana a crime. Violators could face a year in jail and fines up to $50,000. Stores deemed repeat violators could lose their cigarette license and even get shut down.
K2, also known as spice, has been surging on the streets among the homeless, according to the NYPD, because it is cheap and easy to get. A statewide ban is already in effect that fines K2 sellers $500. To date, the NYPD has seized more than $17.5 million worth of k2 products.
This year alone, more than 4,500 people citywide have been sent to emergency rooms because of K2. In July, more than a dozen inmates at the Westchester County jail overdosed after spice was somehow smuggled in.
New York City's health commissioner said that despite K2 being called synthetic marijuana it is far from being created in a lab.
The city stressed that these laws punish sellers and not users, who may be addicted to K2.
The laws go into effect in 60 days.