I live and work very near a pawn shop in Springfield that has begun selling "Syn". Syn is one the the K2-like synthetic cannabinoids that has popped up recently. They are legal, for periods of time, but their long-term impacts on the mind and body are unclear. Check out this article for a quick (mainstream media) view of what is going on with these drugs.
My main concern with Syn, compared to marijuana, is that it seems to attract a different group of people. I know pot heads, and the people smoking this drug look less like pot heads and more like junkies. I have also, in the context of my job, seen several people suffering from psychotic breaks or paranoid episodes who recently smoked Syn. Syn worries me, as it seems to bring out the worst in the shufflers of the city streets.
As soon as the neighborhood pawn shop started selling this drug the character of the neighborhood changed dramatically. Cars are lined up to purchase this drug before the shop even opens, and pedestrians loiter near the shop after it is closed. There are always five or ten different people outside the shop, openly smoking this drug (as you would weed, rolled up in cigars or papers) in their cars.
I am responsible for an older warehouse that is across the street from the pawn shop. I have asked dozens, if not hundreds, of people to move when they are parked in our parking spots. I have run off homeless people smoking Syn against our loading dock. I pick up dozens of pieces of trash (Syn wrappers, cigar wrappers, and food wrappers) each day. Our garage doors have been tampered with. The warehouse has been peed on, since the pawn shop does not have a public restroom.
Today the first piece of graffiti showed up on our building.
I painted over the graffiti as soon as it appeared, Broken Window Theory up in this bitch.
Still, I am at my wits end with this parade of degradation. I have always preached tolerance and legalization, but lately I find myself wishing that the City of Springfield would just hurry up and criminalize this junk.
No simple answers, no plans. Just an imbalance, an excess of cognitive dissonance.