Police: Cases of K2 overdoses reach over 100 in Brooklyn

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BROOKLYN -

A Brooklyn police chief says the cases of K2 overdoses in the borough have sky-rocketed to over 100.

The chief says at least 26 people have been arrested, accused of distributing the synthetic marijuana in Brooklyn.

Police are calling the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Broadway in Bushwick the "epicenter" of the overdoses.

A mobile command post has been set up in the area to combat K2 use.

Police say a forensic lab has determined there are two strains of K2 that are to blame for the recent overdoses.

MORE: Police news conference on synthetic marijuana overdoses Activists call for change following K2 arrests

City health officials are stressing that K2 is not marijuana, but a dangerous mix of chemicals that can cause severe anxiety, heart issues, fainting and even death. The drug's effect can cause a person to act as if they are in a "zombie-like" state, police say.

Police officials say the drug is so prevalent, there was an incident moments before a press conference with the National Action Network.

"Not 10 minutes ago, somebody OD'd right across the street," says Minister Kirsten John Foy, the Northeast Regional Director of NAN. "They're getting it from the stores and these dealers walking up and down this strip."

During the news conference, NAN called on retailers accused of selling K2 in Bushwick to stop.

Members of the group posted flyers on businesses they believe are selling the synthetic marijuana.

"You will not sell this garbage in our community," said Rev. Kevin McCall, crisis director of NAN. "You will not make another dime. We will be out here as much time as possible until you are closed down."

Community leaders also sat in front of Big Boy Deli and blocked the entrance. The store has been accused of selling the drug.

Big Boy Deli manager Mustafa denies the allegations. He said the store did sell it when it was legal but has since stopped.

Protesters were arrested at the scene for disorderly conduct and have since been released. Activists who were part of the protest say they plan to keep fighting.

"It's becoming like an epidemic in the community and we want it to come to a stop," said Michael Thomas.

Anyone who witnesses illegal drug activity or suspects someone is using or selling K2 is asked to call police at 1-800-577-TIPS

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