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Protesters Urge Action to End K2 Epidemic After 33 Users Overdosed

By Peter Duffy | July 14, 2016 3:37pm
 Protesters gather by the Big Boy Deli to protest use of K2 in the neighborhood.
Protesters gather by the Big Boy Deli to protest use of K2 in the neighborhood.
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DNAinfo/ Joe Galarraga

BED-STUY — Protesters desperate to rid a neighborhood of a K2 scourge that caused a mass overdose gathered again to demand action Thursday.

About 40 volunteers with the Doe Fund, a non-profit that works with formerly homeless men and women, assembled in front of the Big Boy Deli and the Dream Burner Tobacco shop, both located on Broadway near Myrtle Avenue and considered by many to be at the center of the epidemic.

On Tuesday, 33 people were found vomiting and barely conscious in the neighborhood. Officials said all had taken the drug.

Officials raided the deli Wednesday but found no K2. Two workers were arrested for other infractions.

The volunteers chanted before a small contingent of NYPD officers, reporters and passers-by — and a small group of openly scornful K2 users.
 
“I’ve been smoking K2 for two and a half years,” said Jeffrey Rodriguez. "I’ve never had a problem.”
 
Inside Big Boy, the store manager said the protest was much ado about nothing.  

“They’re protesting in front of the wrong business,” said Joseph, who declined to give his last name.

“There’s never been K2 here except two and a half years ago when it was legal.”

Next to the cash register was a flyer warning of the dangers of K2: “0% marijuana. 100% dangerous,” it read.
 
“I was shocked to see people staggering around like zombies,” said protester Otis Hodges, 25, about why he wanted to get involved.