Fake pot morphs people into zombies. Legal herb to the rescue.

That's the only reasonable conclusion to come to when you read about the effects of synthetic cannabinoids such as K2 and Spice and their nastier new cousins, which are eating brains worse than the walking dead.

The New England Journal of Medicine — the smartest doctor mag — writes about how fake ganja called AK47 24 Karat Gold turned at least 18 New Yorkers into what cops and onlookers called "zombies" on July 12. The drug "turned a block in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn into … zombieland," wrote the journal. The users had blank stares, only responded when touched, made meaningless groaning sounds and mechanically moved their legs. The New England Journal of Medicine said they scored 13 on the Glasgow Coma Scale, which is doctor-speak for "gorked as fuck."

How cops managed to distinguish the synthetic-smoking zombies from the identical-looking Brooklyn hipster zombies, we'll never know.

The journal wrote that AK47 24 Karat Gold has "no structural commonality with the plant cannabinoid ∆9-THC." It's actually methyl 2-(1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido)-3-methylbutanoate, and if that doesn't sound delicious, I don't know what does. Yet, people wanted to try it. Oddly, it had gotten good press. Redditors said the bunk stuff was "out of this world potent."

The damage caused by faux pot isn't spread evenly across the country. Colorado and Washington aren't choking on this poison. People tend to smoke this filth in places where cannabis is treated roughly like crack or meth, instead of Mother Nature's sweet baby breath (which it is), places such as Louisiana and Georgia in the living room of your out-on-parole uncle.

Uncle Johnnie Few Teeth smokes synthetic because cops don't know about it and drug tests can't find it. None of the zombies in Brooklyn tested positive for a single drug. Which is all fine and dandy and will keep out of trouble, until your corpus callosum crumbles like gorgonzola cheese.

The only antidote is either abstain from everything — which is fine, but reality is a tough mud to wade through 24-7 — or to smoke real green trees. The mass legalization of cannabis may already be reducing spice; one study found a drop in teens using synthetic marijuana after 2012, which is the year weed really started to become more widely available.

It's yet another way legal weed may be Saving the Children. Add that to the seizures CBD is erasing, the cancer pain it's soothing, and the family Christmas dinner it's making way funnerer, and you can nominate Legal Weed for the trophy of Zombie Killer of the Year.

Because, let's face it: we're all turning into zombies, one way or another. Some of us just faster than others. Use real weed to combat it. May we suggest … the strain called "Purple Zombie?"