Synthetic Marijuana, an over the counter drug, poisons and kills 

Daryl Jim Diaz, Reporter

Teens don’t know that synthetic marijuana is blamed for several deaths and poisoning. According to Dr. Phil’s show on January 17, 2012, synthetic marijuana, also known as K2 or Spice, is an herbal and chemical product that mimics the effect of real cannabis. On Dr. Phil’s Website it says, “Dr. Phil highlights the number 567 — that’s how many calls were placed to poison control centers about synthetic marijuana in 2011.” The year before there were only two calls. The drug is sold in convenience stores as herbal incense, with a warning against human consumption, though teens are ignoring the warning.

Dr. Phil’s show featured story about a 19 year old male teen who used synthetic marijuana. The mother said she knew her son used synthetic marijuana, but didn’t know what it was.
“He was so proud that he had gotten off of weed,”  the grandmother of the teen said on the show. “He was using this new fake weed that was legal, so it was probably safe.”

The mother of that teen listed the symptoms she said her son suffered after using the drug: panic attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia and excessive sleeping. Her son died of a heart attack after smoking synthetic marijuana with friends in 2010. “He was ashen gray. He had a weak pulse,” she says of that night according to the show. “His eyes were open, and I noticed he wasn’t breathing.” Carrie says she and her husband, both paramedics, performed CPR on their son and got him back for a moment. “He looked at me and muttered with his lips, ‘I love you mom,’” she recalls sadly.

Teens do not know the health risk of using synthetic marijuana and continue to smoke it. Gil Kerlikoswske,  the White House’s director of national drug policy, says, “We will continue to work with public health and safety community to respond to this emerging threat, but in the meantime, parents must take action.” He states that, “Parents are the most powerful voice in the lives of young people and we ask that all of them talk to their teens today about the serious consequences of using marijuana, K2, and Spice.”
“Just because you get a prescription… these are not necessarily safe. That’s why you have to have a medical license to prescribe these,” Dr. Compton concluded in Shah’s Article in the “Education Week” Magazine.