Campaign against synthetic marijuana launched in D.C.

A new campaign uses graphic warnings to illustrate the dangers of fake weed, also known as K2 or spice. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
The chemicals in fake weed cause hallucinations, paranoia and seizures, warns the campaign. (
This image for the campaign against synthetic marijuana will be featured on bus shelters. (
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray holds up the so-called fake weed at a campaign launch in Southeast, D.C. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
Graphic images warn about the effects of synthetic marijuana, also known as Spice or K2. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)

WASHINGTON – A new campaign in the District aims to warn young people about a dangerous but popular substance: fake weed.

It’s also known as Spice or K2.

Graphic warnings featuring zombies are going out on social media and to schools.

Mayor Vincent Gray announced the campaign Thursday along with the D.C. Department of Health.

“We are not going to take this, you are not going to bring this junk into our community and contaminate our kids,” said Gray.

Gray hopes clear facts about what goes into fake weed and its effects hit home with kids. After seeing stores sell it in colorful plastic pouches, he became more passionate about the cause.

“We’re letting that happen to our young people? Letting them destroy their lives? We ought to be outraged,” he said.

Synthetic marijuana is already banned in Virginia. Bills to regulate the product are making their way through legislation in Maryland and the District.

Gray vowed to not let people bring the substance into D.C. where kids could access it.

“Fake weed plus you equals a zombie,” he said.

“Who wants to be a zombie?”

WTOP’s Andrew Mollenbeck contributed to this report.

Follow @MollenbeckWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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