Oct 21, 2015

Scientology-Backed Anti-Drug Group Fighting Synthetic Drugs in East Harlem

Gustavo Solis
October 21, 2015

synthetic marijuana using booklets
Synthetic marijuana using booklets
EAST HARLEM —A Scientology-backed anti-drug program is trying to fight the spread of synthetic marijuana using booklets warning against the dangers of the drug.

The organization, Foundation for a Drug Free World, stepped up their efforts after a rise in K2 smoking in Harlem, Sharron Garrett, a member of the Church of Scientology, said Tuesday.

“Thousands of booklets were distributed in the train station on 125th Street and Lexington Avenue,” she said. “Twice a week volunteers go out and distribute these booklets along the streets of Harlem from the East Side to the west side.”

While the program is secular, it is funded by church members, she added.

Garrett said that they are looking to partner up with local organizations like churches, community centers, and schools to distribute more booklets.

“We want to involve more volunteers from the community to increase the dissemination of this necessary tool to save our youth,” she said.

The booklets warn users that synthetic marijuana is dangerous because the chemical composition of the product is unknown and constantly changing.

It mentions anonymous stories of a mother high on K2 who threw her child into a trash can but couldn't remember where it was after she was arrested and a teen who tried to slash his own throat after smoking the drug.

It also has testimonials from anonymous people who claim to have suffered from K2 use.

“After using Spice for several weeks, I woke up early one night, fell to the floor, couldn’t move my legs and couldn’t move my hips,” said an anecdote attributed to “L.D.”

Volunteers for the organization distributed about 3,000 fliers during the African American Day Parade, Garrett said.

The anti-drug program claims to have visited 30 public schools in 2014, according to their Facebook page, DNAinfo previously reported.

At the time, the city’s Department of Education denied any partnership and said they did not recommend the service because they use misinformation and scare tactics.


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