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3 Men Critically Hurt by Synthetic Weed K2 on Wards Island, Sources Say

By  Murray Weiss and Aidan Gardiner | July 24, 2015 11:59am | Updated on July 26, 2015 11:09pm

 Five were injured taking synthetic marijuana on Wards Island, sources said.
Five were injured taking synthetic marijuana on Wards Island, sources said.
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DNAinfo/Maria Villasenor

MANHATTAN — Three men were critically injured and two others seriously hurt after taking synthetic marijuana called "K2" at a picnic table on the outdoor grounds of a Wards Island Friday morning, sources said.

The men, whose names and ages were not immediately released, took the drugs near the Manhattan Psychiatric Center on the island about 8:40 a.m., officials said.

They were taken to Harlem and Metropolitan hospitals, police said.

Three men were taken to the hospital with critical injuries, but were later upgraded to stable condition, an NYPD spokeswoman said.

A spokesman for the Office of Mental Health, which oversees the facility, couldn't say whether or not the men were being treated there, citing privacy laws.

"A search for contraband is currently underway at our Wards Island facility," the spokesman said.

"In addition, the agency will continue to warn those we serve about the dangers associated with the use of synthetic cannabinoids," he added.

"K2" synthetic marijuana is gaining popularity in the United States, partly because it's strong but doesn't show up on drug tests, according to The New York Times.

In 2015 alone, 120 Manhattan men were hospitalized after using a brand of the drug called "Mr. Big Shot."

They suffered seizures, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, vomiting, nausea and hallucinations, officials said.

"[Mr. Big Shot] made people jittery. I saw them throw up and pass out," said one Harlem resident who watched the drug sweep through his neighborhood.