Sen. Chuck Schumer wants the federal Drug Enforcement Agency to crack down on online sales of synthetic marijuana.
On Sunday, Schumer announced he would push the DEA to create a special investigative unit focused on tracking websites that sell the products, commonly referred to as K2, and notify credit card companies to block sales.
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"Synthetic drug use is on the rise," the senior state senator told reporters. "It's hurting our young people, increasing crime and hurting vulnerable communities in New York City."
Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a multi-agency strategy to end the sale and use of K2 following a drug bust that recovered $30 millionworth of the substance and raided some 90 bodegas citywide.
Since January, the city Health Department said it recorded more than 3,000 K2-related emergency room visits.
The problem has hit East Harlem particularly hard, the department previously reported.
Schumer told reporters on Sunday many of the debits selling the drugs and chemicals necessary to produce K2 come from China.
"The high is cheap, the cost is low," Schumer warned, "and the consequences are deadly."