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Chandler Jones just needed help, but self-preservation taught him to surrender

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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Synthetic weed, otherwise known as K-2, spice, or by the scientific name of synthetic cannabinoids is named so because it contains cannabinoid chemicals that are found in regular marijuana. They are either sprayed on dried, shredded plant materials that can be smoked or liquids that can be vaporized and inhaled. It is often promoted as a legal, safe alternative to the real drug. Standard drug tests cannot usually detect many of the chemicals used in its making.

The truth is that the drug, often marketed as natural and safer, is susceptible to alteration since the chemicals used in its forming can change batch from batch. This can lead to dramatic, unexpected effects on the individual users: extreme anxiety, confusion, paranoia or hallucinations.

It is much more effective at binding and acting in the brain: where THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, partially binds and activates the CB1 receptor, synthetic weed goes for the maximum effect -- it's up to a thousand times stronger at it than its counterpart. It's the Chip Kelly's offense of weed. John. W. Huffman, one of the scientists who first developed the drug for research purposes, likened using it to playing Russian Roulette, before dismissing anyone who would use it as "idiots."

In August of last year, Connor Eckhardt, a California teenager who used the drug, quickly slipped into a coma, experienced brain swelling and died soon after. The year before that, Nicholas Colbert. The deaths keep piling up, yet the drugs seems only to become more famous.

From January to May of 2015, the deaths from the drug had tripled from the previous year: These deaths do not include the grisly situation that happened during the same month of Eckhardt's death where a man, reportedly high on the drug and with a history of mental illness, decapitated his wife, killed his dogs, cut off his own hands and eye in order to rid himself and her of the evil within.

It is reported that in the early hours of Jan. 10 in Foxborough, Mass., New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, had a bad reaction after smoking synthetic marijuana. He was told to go to the police and get help. The station was not too far from his house.

Wearing nothing more than blue sweatpants, Jones, a 6'5, 265-pound black man scurried through the rear parking lot of the police precinct. Officer David J. Foscaldo, who was on the verge of starting his shift at 7:40 am on this warm Sunday morning, was the first to observe the man's strange behavior. Jones then makes a direct line toward the back door of the station.

When the rest of the officers spotted him, they approached the bewildered man. Jones, confused and in desperate need of help, dropped to his knees.

He dropped down, interlocked his hands and placed them behind the back of his head, as if he was being arrested. He had surrendered, but for what exactly? He held this position for two seconds before slowly moving to the ground. Foscaldo wrote in his report that this action was taken under no provocation nor warning. The officer described Jones as appearing to be actively praying or worshiping.

He also says that Jones had committed no crimes, nor had he violated any laws or town-bylaws. He did not resist, he was not argumentative or confrontational. He was unarmed and did not have any drugs on his person. But what was clear was that he was confused, as he could not explain who told him to seek help and for what. Only after going to his house would the officers smell the burnt synthetic marijuana.

Though this mysterious Oracle that suggested his trip to the police station was nowhere to be found.

Jones would eventually be escorted to the front of the precinct, where paramedics from the fire department would take custody of him. It was a medical issue, not a police one. He would return to practice the following morning.

The episode serves as a lesson to the young defender and others around the league. Whether the reasons behind his experiment with the ambiguous drug was to avoid detection from the league's testing or it was a situation where he was bamboozled and sold the synthetic when he hoped for the real thing, the embarrassment and dangers of this event hopefully wards him and others off in the future.

But before the issue was resolved, Jones, suffering from bad effects of a synthetic drug and seeking assistance from the police, was on his knees, with his hands behind his head, facing towards the ground, as they came towards him. And when they got closer, when they began to run towards him, he laid flat on his stomach, spread his arms wide out and calmly told the officers: "I'm Chandler Jones."

He's well-known enough in the NFL watching world, and even more in the home city of the New England Patriots. The introduction would seem superfluous, especially for a hulking mass of a man, who couldn't be anything else but an NFL star. Except he could also be a monster or a superhuman demon if the situation is tense enough, and here in his anxious and confused state, at the time of the morning where even the birds are struggling for wakefulness, he is very much aware of it.

Jones, at one time in his life, was a black boy growing up in the United States. His exercise in surrendering himself in an interaction with the police is a well-drilled lesson in self-preservation that is as traditional as any family heirloom.

He must never forget to drop to his knees, put his hands behind his head, avoid eye contact and to speak in a calm, measured tone. To disengage the situation before it even starts. In a bid to plead for help from this outside source that tasked with helping citizens, he must never forget the primary relationship between his black person and the police, and the threat that he, regardless of his massive figure, poses. It had to be done under no provocation or warning, and he has been taught and conditioned to know so.

Innocent of all things except for what he classifies as "a stupid mistake" and in a time of desperation, he ran to the closest source of help. But in the midst of all of this, in the cloud of his confusion, anxiety and need, he could never forget that he is a black man, and that his interlocutors are police officers.