Fake Weed Will Turn Kids Into Zombies,
D.C. Health Department Warns

By Benjamin R. Freed in on May 2, 2013 4:48 PM

Via D.C. Department of Health

The D.C. Department of Health is amping up its vigilance of a health scourge it says is wreaking havoc on the city’s youth. Specifically, synthetic marijuana, which a new advertising blitz warns—in gory fashion—will turn users into slow-moving, addled hordes of the walking dead.

K2 Zombie DC is the name of the health department’s new campaign, and it features posters, billboards, and a website of supposedly once-healthy kids with blacked-out eyes and rotting flesh, presumably the cost of sampling “K2″ or “Spice,” a product that is sold in stores as a substitute for weed. (Another brand is called Scooby Snax, in homage to the perpetually blazed Great Dane.) The federal government outlawed synthetic marijuana in 2011, and numerous states have also instituted bans, but, as evidenced by a recent Fox 5 report, it’s still relatively easy to find on the shelves of some D.C. convenience stores.

To the health department, the potential effects of K2 are a serious issue, perhaps even pushing users into zombie-like states. The ad campaign’s website reads:

The effects of fake weed can be severely harmful. Fake weed causes extreme anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks, alienation/disassociation, psychotic episodes and hallucinations. This behavior has been labeled the “zombie” effect.

Among the health department’s advisories is one urging kids not to spark up with the fake stuff before the big school dance, lest there be zombies at the prom. (Editor’s note: Are film rights available?)

Via D.C. Department of Health

Just how horrible are the effects of K2 or Spice? Last year, just before New York State began enforcing a ban on the substances, a few editors at Gothamist tried some.

“Fake weed looks, tastes and smokes like the cheap crap you might buy from a guy on a bike in Washington Square Park or the stuff your tried that one time in eighth grade,” they wrote. As for any zombie-like effects, those did not materialize. “In our tests we experienced none of the symptoms that the New York State Department of Health is so worried about. No heart palpitations, no confusion or seizures.”

To the D.C. Department of Health’s credit, its advisory against fake weed is a lot more fun than the one rolled out by Empire State, which opted for a drab website, and certainly not as catchy a slogan as D.C.’s: “Danger: Fake weed + U = Zombie.”