Earlier this month, the parents of Conner Reid Eckhardt publicly spoke out about the death of their son. Conner, from Southern California, was only 19 years old and died after taking a single hit of “K2,” which is also known as “Spice” or “synthetic marijuana.”
Conner smoked one hit on July 16th, when he fell into a coma and suffered serious brain damage. The substance is compiled of herbs that are doused with chemicals to give a hallucinogenic high similar to marijuana. Unfortutnately, those chemicals are “not safe for human consumption” as some of the labels of the substance warn on the packages. It can cause such adverse affects as seizures, kidney failure and heart attacks.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time the drug has made national headlines. In 2013, a Houston, TX teenager named Emily Bauer complained of migraines that ended up turning into several small strokes and landing her in the ER. The blood vessels constricted so tightly in her brain, it created pressure and blocked oxygen flow. The hospital had to peform emergency surgery, drilling a hole into her brain to release the pressure. Just as her family was accepting her fate, removing her off of all support on December 16, 2013, Emily was alive and whispering “Good morning, I love you,” to her mother. Emily’s family started a nonprofit organization called Synthetic Awareness For Emily, or SAFE, to educate families, teachers and doctors about the dangers of synthetic marijuana and bath salts.
Even actress Demi Moore had a scare in 2012, when her friend called 911 after Moore began to convulse, run a fever and fall in and out of consciousness after she “smoked something,” which was allegedly fake pot.
Even though the House voted 317-98 to ban over 30 of these drugs like “Spice and “bath salts,” and the DEA places temporary bans on chemicals used in the products, it still finds its way onto the shelves of gas stations and headshops.
1 out of 9 high school students has admitted to trying the drug, which is often labeled as a “natural” and “safe” substitute for marijuana according to the American Chemical Society.