City and state officials have been attempting to crack down on synthetic marijuana, which officials say has sent hundreds of New Yorkers to the hospital this year. And at an NYPD briefing today, Commissioner Bill Bratton addressed this so-called "weaponized" weed, showing reporters videos of officers attempting to arrest naked men who appeared to be locked and loaded with this stuff.



UPDATE 8/5/15: It appears that at least one of these videos is from a COPS episode from 2003 and may depict a man reacting to PCP. (We asked the NYPD prior to publication where the videos are from and have still received no reply.) Here's our update.

Bratton repeatedly referred to synthetic weed as "weaponized marijuana," and warned that Northern Manhattan is at a particularly high risk when it comes to hospitalizations stemming from usage. Synthetic marijuana is also especially problematic among the homeless, according to the NYPD, and it seems cops do not enjoy making related arrests. "The idea of trying to wrestle with a naked person makes [fake weed] even harder for officers," Bratton said.

Last month, health officials announced that over 1,900 New Yorkers made fake weed-related emergency room visits from April to June, pointing out that synthetic marijuana is often sprayed with chemicals that can make people sick. These drugs are often sold for about $2 to $5 in local bodegas, marketed as incense or potpourri. The NYPD has not yet responded to request for more information regarding the videos.

We smoked fake weed in 2012 and survived.

Reporting by Lauren Evans.