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Death Validates Dangers of Synthetic Marijuana

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On June 6, 2010, Indianola, Iowa, teen, David Rozga, 18, committed suicide after having a panic attack attributed to smoking K2 with his friends. After consumption, he told them that he was going to hell then went home where he shot and killed himself. His parents and the police place the blame for his actions on K2, because according to David’s parents, this was out of character.

This is the first death reported that might be directly linked to consuming K2, and has prompted the governor to issue a statewide warning about its use and potential dangers. Iowa lawmakers are also looking at how they can ban K2, following the steps of the increasing number of municipalities and states that have done so already.

People who have smoked the synthetic marijuana have reported such side effects as deep depression, hallucinations, feelings of impending death, and severe panic attacks, which may be what drove David Rozga to kill himself.

There has always been the danger of using an untested substitute and assuming that it will respond the same as the substance that it is supposed to imitate. Marijuana causes a phobia that users appear to enjoy, and depending on its grade, the quantity it takes to achieve the desired level of intoxication varies from person to person. The same holds true for using K2 whose potency is three to five times stronger than marijuana, warranting the consumption of a lesser amount, and new users do not know this. They just assume that smoking the same amount of K2 that they do of cannabis will yield the same results.

One of Rozga’s friends bought the K2 in Des Moines, since no store in Indianola sells it, and shared it with him. They consumed it together, but David was the only one to react so negatively. The purchase price for three grams of K2 typically is around the same as for marijuana, but K2 is legal to possess, not detectable by current tests, apparently has no age restriction, and its use will probably continue to rise nationally as the banning of K2 continues to spread.

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About jtkindlenam

  • x1134x

    Sad that the parents and police cannot blame the items CAPABLE OF CAUSING this and blame an inanimate object. If he went home after smoking the K2, he was completely free of effects when he got there because it doesn’t last more than 20 minutes. When a person gets drunk and kills themselves, it is NOT the fault of alcohol, it is the PERSON. Drugs do not cause purposeful behavior, they cause accidental behavior, so unless this was an accidental discharge, this suicide had NOTHING to do with K2.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    How do you go from stating in the article title that the suicide validates the dangers to lessening the charge to it only “might be directly linked” in the second paragraph?

  • bong_jamesbong2001

    Any parent would say their child’s suicide was “out of character” just to save the family from embarrassment, so I totally discount their view of this situation.
    If suicides related to substances caused those substances’ prohibition legally, why hasn’t alcohol been banned ages ago? And why was K2 banned in six states BEFORE this incident took place? It is phoney prohibitionist scare tactics. The REAL PROBLEM is that K2 gets you high without being detectable by blood tests, which scares the hell out of cops and other prohibitionists. That is no reason to ban it. But it IS a reason to use it.

  • Dan Morefield

    i feel bad for the family but you cant blame K2. people kill themselves after drinking a bottle, why dont they make alcohol illegal? people have been using substances for thousands of years and we are not going to stop any time soon. he may have had a previous unknown mental problems.

  • Dan Morefield

    K2 did not cause death, he did it to himself.

  • Suzy Smith

    Humans are weak and some have mental and/or emotional problems. Alcohol has not been banned because it is BIG BUSINESS and has backers with big money. The parents are dealing with the death of their son, which is awful. They would know if he had mental problems. Whoever is selling K2 is doing it for the money, not for the health benefits of its users. I guess that if you or someone you know died from your new fun addiction, then maybe you might have a different view. Happy smoking.

  • http://www.nowpublic.com/world/k-2-spice-mountain-lies-intrigue-and-injustice#comments Martin R. Vermeer, RPh

    The true causative agents in tragedies such as this may be SSRI/SNRI anti-depressant pharmaceutical drugs, known for their ability to result in suicide and school shootings. They are widely used in the adolescent population in spite of black-box warnings.

    It is unfortunate to see news writers scaring people over K2 by portraying K2 as some kind of killer substance.

    K2 may have pain-relieving, anti-nausea or other useful properties that could help people’s suffering. An alternative to narcotic pain-relievers is sorely needed, but no drug company is going to want to pursue K2 with such hysteria like what is being promoted here.

    Government should regulate such substances so there is assurance they do not have dangerous contaminants, etc. Banning removes all regulation and results in arrests, jail time and SWAT team home invasions. Why would you want that, America?

    • billy moonpie

      are you kidding? you’d have people use this shit rather than the real thing? you sir are a blithering idiot. it needs to be illegal, and the illegal needs to be made legal..

  • NRA

    Did the gun, possibly,have anything to do with the suicide?

  • Hell

    I smoked this stuff this last weekend. The first time was alright, only lasted 20 minutes and I just felt a little high. The second time, I took two hits from a bong. BIG MISTAKE.

    I couldn’t move, speak, I was sweating, pale, vomiting, dizzy, and having a full blown panic attack. Scary as hell. This lasted 3 HOURS! Not 20 minutes, 3 hours of pure hell. I didn’t know who I was or even if I was human or not.

    The scariest part though, I honestly thought if I had a gun in my hand I would shoot myself. This was pure psychosis. I’m not suicidal or depressed, I was just beyond messed up. It was pure hell!

    This stuff should be banned. It was like a bad salvia trip that lasted 3 hours and with dizziness and vomiting.

  • fuck

    fucking dumb ass this is crap right here i smoke that shit all the time well not now cuzz this kid this some bull shit man fuckkkkk

  • Jake

    To the guy at the top of the page, are you sure this only lasts 20 minutes? I got the LEAST potent K2 when I bought a gram for the first time about a week ago, I smoked it once and was completely messed up for over 2 hours. It was 2 hours of constant hell and i had absolutely no control over my body. I was terrified and I understand what this kid was going through. I thought I was having a heart attack and was fearful that I was dying. This stuff needs to be illegal. It is one of the most harmful things out there. Weed is much more safe.

  • Jake

    and people comparing this stuff to alcohol have obviously never had K2, therefore making your opinion useless. You don’t know what this stuff actually does to you unless you take it. You can’t describe the feeling.

  • Alex

    Using synthetic cannabis is no different than smoking organic cannabis. It’s all about set and setting.

    I have smoked about a quarter ounce of k2 in the past 5 days and I have no problems with it.

    Alcohol is much more dangerous than synthetic cannabis. Keep k2 legal.

    Also, Jake I disagree with Jake when he said “It is one of the most harmful things out there.” Many legally prescribed drugs such as Oxycodone, Morphine, Ritalin, Adderal, Xanex are much more dangerous and they’re addictive.

  • Dumbasses

    These people are stupid. It’s not the Drug, its the person that USED the drug…The package says not for human consuption. It’s the kids fault, end of story.

  • For Real?

    all you people saying negative things about the kid or family clearly are just assholes…I smoked that shit and had the same experience as him, i thought i was going to die and didnt think reality was ever going to come back to how it was. obviously most of you guys are ignorant pieces of shit, like your invincible or something. chemicals can easily alter your mind and cause you to do things out of character. It has nothing to do with who smokes it, it has to dow ith how much you consume and how much you did before. I never smoked it before and my friends talked me into it and i took a bong rip of the second strongest shit they had. im not syain that wasnt stupid, i should have worked my way up to that type of synthetic shit if i was goin to be burnin it in the first place, but not everyone is aware that you have to do that or even know that they are smoking fake weed and not the real thing because maybe their friend packed the bowl or something. I went through it and as stupid and inconceterate as alot of you are i would never wish that type of experience on anyone, but you have to open your eyes and grow the fuck up. obviously if more then one person had this happen (and its reported that it has happened to alot more then 1) something is wrong witht he drug and not the people. to people calling the family stupid or assholes, have you ever lost someone? your fuckin child at that? if not maybe the day it happens to you and hopefully it wont, you’ll understand what these people went through…if you smoke it and like it and nothing has happened to you good for you your clearly tougher then me you fuckin losers…my regards go out to this family and anyone else who lost someone from this shit…stick to the real thing if your goin to smoke..and if your thinkin about replying to me, before you do, if it isnt agreeing with me just know your opinion doesnt matter to me or at all in the circumstances because you couldnt have went through what i did or this kid did and not agree with me, so anyone who has something negative to say about this family or me or my post, all i have to say to you is fuck you, you dont know what your saying, and when you do know because you have had it happen to you you can re read this and rememeber how big of scum bags you were. RIP David

  • Al

    Dude for those that say this stuff is the same as natural herb, GER REAL… stroke, seisures, etc.. WEED never has done that to nobody, this is not natural PURE evil and you will pay one day if you smoke this… freaking collapse 7 years later THEN They come and say, YEA.. IT causes seizures 7 years later. BE WISE… seek natural … even weed should be stopped but if u gotta do it… do what GOD made not a damn LAB.. .obviously its not good!

  • mzmags

    Wow…what the hell has happened to our society? My son has been using the synthetic pot and has told me, on more than one occasion that is causes him to have hallucinations. Why is is so important to self-medicate? Maybe we should all realize how fortunate we are to be alive and actually stick around, mentally, for the ride. I do agree with Al….if you just have to self-medicate…go natural.

  • Tammy

    I got some salvia herbs from http://hollywoodherbalincense.com/ I will try it tonight with my friends, they say they love it and its very strong, they never died…lol

  • Coreena

    Comment number 9 and 15, I have had the exact same experience. I’m an extremely happy and adjusted person and have never had any suicidal thoughts. I honestly think that the only reason I am alive after having a really bad trip on k2 is because my boyfriend was present and had to physically subdue me from going into the kitchen and getting a knife (which I told him I felt like I couldn’t help doing). I knew that I didn’t want to die but it felt like something was making me want to kill myself. I told my boyfriend because I knew he could stop me and I didn’t want to. I was so scared and I really feel for the boy and anyone else who went through this. It is not his fault and probably never would’ve happened if he hadn’t smoked the k2. True, it doesn’t happen to everyone, my bf has been smoking it for years and has never had a bad experience. But why take the risk? Just to get high for a couple hours. And for the record, it lasted about 3 hours for me.

  • Sally

    Synthetic Marijuana should defiantly be banned. I have done my fair share of drugs and nothing compares to the trip I had from smoking spice. I have smoked spice many times before and always felt a weird high, that is s different compared to the high from marijuana. All the previous times gave me no reason to be afraid or discouraged from using spice again. About two months ago I smoked a large amount of spice. I smoked about three fully packed bowls of spice. It was HELL. Extreme hallucinations. I got extremely cold, keep in mind it was a very warm day out. I became very pale and began to shiver and eventually seizure. All of my thoughts were racing, I thought about every single memory from when I was born until that very moment. I felt like someone evil was playing a bad joke on me. It went on for three hours. I would have done anything to make it stop, I even thought about suicide and I’m not a suicidal or depressed person normally. Synthetic marijuana is a very dangerous and powerful drug that should not be messed with. It is simply not worth it.

  • Cannonshop

    Perhaps there’s a quality control issue here as well-several of the posters report smoking synthetic fairly regularly, without ill effects, one poster notes ill effects with a recent purchase after several sessions with no ill effects, and several posters have reported issues with hallucination, circulation, depression, panic, etc. etc.

    Some of those ‘Ill effects” look suspiciously like certain controlled substances that are most definitely NOT marijuana or Marijuana-like.

    Psychoactive chemicals interact with your brain chemistry in certain ways because of their content and proportion, add the wrong additive, or too much of the right one, and a harmless buzz can become a serious health problem-for the non-stoner out there, look up prohibition-era woodgrain alcohol effects. Regulated, Legal alcohol is tested for dangerous impurities, (such as testing to assure it is ethyl, not methyl, alcohol), it would not surprise me if the suppliers, or even some of teh head-shops selling K2 or other synthetics, might be showing quality-control problems that turn a harmless buzz into a nightmare situation. Getting High involves ingesting or inhaling poisons in limited dosages, if the poison’s off in some manner (esp. with synthetics) it’s going to be lots more dangerous than it should be.

  • WOW

    It is horrible that this kid decided to end his life, but as a user of k2 (and I’ve taken many bong rips) I have never had any hallucinations or anything. And for the family to say his suicide was out of character, he was taking drugs, but I bet that was out of character too huh. It is a horrible thing to see somebody commit suicide but to blame k2 is simply ridiculous.

  • just out of the hospital

    DO NOT SMOKE ANY SYNTHETIC WEEDS!!! Have been a smoker of these for about year now. I never had a problem, It felt great. Till I woke this morning and did a hitter, Wow, Thought I was going to die. Went to hospital had super high blood presser, panic attacks, heart was damn near jumping out of my chest. Scared my life was coming to an end, begged the lord to give me a chance to make it right. Im here blessed today, writing to you readers. If you knock on the devils door long enough, he might just open it one day and let you in!!! Sorry for the loss of the kid.

  • Karen

    My son was a very happy, well adjusted young man. He smoked pot once and didn’t like it. Most of his friends thought that he had never smoked it because he always told people not to smoke. Then, for some reason, he thought that smoking this was safe. BTW, he was very health conscieous. He never ate fast food. He never took aspirin or tylenol for headaches because he didn’t want to put things in his body. One day, he thought it would be safe to do fake marijuana (plants sprayed with chemicals we know relatively nothing about). The process is not regulated and the chemical is sprayed very unevenly over the plants. You don’t know when you’ll get the strong dose that will make you hallucinate. He called his brother about 1/2 hour later and said “I smoked that legal stuff. My heart is pounding and I’m having a panic attack” A few minutes later, he ran out of the house, leaving all the doors open (very out of character for him). He was alone at that point and there wasn’t anyone to stop him. He drove 100 miles and hour and ran into a house. He died instantly. He was nearly a perfect person. No one can ever remember him being mean or nasty, grouchy or disrespectful. He lived to make everyone else happy every day of his life. Everyone expected greatness from him. He was one-in-a-million and died because of one stupid mistake. I urge everyone to stay away from fake pot. I refuse to call it synthetic marijuana. It’s not marijuana!!!!! It’s plants sprayed with chemicals we know very little about. No one has ever tested these chemicals. Some people have heart problems months after use. Paranoia is being reported months after use. Please don’t smoke this stuff. It’s EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!!!

  • Christopher

    My brother killed himself in May. He had been smoking the stuff misleadingly called “synthetic marijuana” for several months. As others have pointed out, this so-called “incense”, “potpourri ” is not Cannabis. It is a mix of unknown plant products with unknown chemicals, most likely made up in a bucket in a back alley somewhere in China. There is no quality control and no way for the retail user to know what it actually contains. This in itself is a dangerous situation. People, please do not take mystery drugs of unknown origin and composition. This is like grabbing a handful of pills at random, in the dark. It is truly tragic that the “war on drugs” has driven naive people, especially youths, to ingest unknown dangerous substances as a “subs

  • Very small dose

    Keep your dose very very small, If you are going to smoke synthetics.
    With an extremely low dose:
    I have noticed back pain relief and neck pain relief.
    I have noticed stress relief. You sleep great, mostly because of stress relief. Your troubles completely fade away. Again very small dose.
    There seems to be positive effects if you do not smoke synthetics to get high, rather to alleviate physical pain or mental stress.
    I have noticed that the effects of synthetic thc can last for up to 8 hours.
    But in very small doses do not impede your daily activities.
    I suspect that people that have suffered from panic attacks or other problems essentially overdosed.
    Maturity seems to be another factor. Even in extremely small doses I do not believe that minors should try synthetics. I do not believe that minors possess the maturity needed to handle the effects of synthetics.
    To recap: If you are going to try synthetics for pain or stress relief,
    you should keep your dose extremely small. For example, one very small drag, no more. Do not keep the smoke in your lungs very long. Nor inhale too deep. Synthetics can be very powerful. One very soft drag should be enough for a 230 pound adult male.
    I do not advocate the use of any drug, but if you must, keep your dose extremely small.
    If anyone is interested I can list the side effects that I have noticed.

  • anonymous

    I have been smoking the synthetic stuff for a few weeks now. I have been feeling do depressed lately. These stories have scared me into only smoking the real thing…

  • so much for freedom

    how can synthetic marijuana be legal and the actual thing still illegal this is just so ignorant is it because they cant tax it i dont even understand any more how our society has fallen so low people in this country no longer even have the right to put something they want to put in there body but have every right to put some thing much more deadly and harmful in there body just so some company can make a quick buck and the feds gets there taxes they could care less about the health of there citizens this society has fallen hard and fast and im ready to get the hell out of this shity country that is slowly turning into a communist government so much for freedom and any one who says this is the best country in the world with out actualy going to any other country is just completely ignorant

  • Robin

    Man, some of the stories I’m reading about this stuff, this is just tragic. Some people are fine and can smoke tons of it, that’s clear. But A LOT of people are reacting REALLY badly, because they’re making the damn things WAY too strong (too strong for the average human!), not testing them properly, not putting proper warnings and directions on the packaging. Anything that causes such drastic effects after one or two casual puffs is dangerous. If they don’t legalize pot soon, this is going to get worse and worse. The legal high industry is here to stay. People want to get stoned and they will one way or another. Now we have people smoking dangerous man-made chemicals because a God-given plant is illegal. This is disgusting! Look at some of the reactions people are having, all because they are being forced to resort to cannabis “substitutes”. How many more deaths will we see in the coming years, I wonder? This is a RESULT of the prohibition of cannabis! Any government that blindly supports prohibition in 2011 has blood on its hands.

  • Bill Ding

    I had my first experience last night with this “spice” product. My first hit was light and I compared it to a light marijuana high. My second hit, 15 minutes later, was deeper and I held it. What a mistake. The resulting “high” was the most terrible feeling I have ever had. I passed out for twenty minutes and when I came to it was like a horrible dream that I wanted to stop. These bad effects lasted for 2-3 hours. The military can forget about water boarding trying to crack someone, just keep administering these synthetic cannabinoids to the suspect. He’ll give in and talk or he’ll go insane!

    Do not smoke this junk.

  • satantics

    everybody that have these panic attacks and heart attacks come on quit tring to smoke somthing that its not.what i mean is dont rip it like cannabis you wont have that problem you fools its not weed. so it boils down to kids tring to be cool in front of there friends and stupid stuff happens like smoking syn like its the real thing when its not quit comparing the two u dont compare marijauana with coke.its called suicide not murder that means he did it him self. K2 dosent own a gun blame yourself dumbass

  • voice of reason

    I have many friends that smoked that on a regular n every different kind of bowl joint blunts hookas n like 8 grams a week or more some of them did have bad trips every once in a whilee but not once has anyone wanted to directly kill them selfs of it the reason for these peoples deaths isn’t the synthetic weed its the simple fact that they just couldn’t handle their shit smoking that is simple just know ur limit have a good time n for gods sake even if high have enough common sense not to have any wepons around n don’t drive seriously

  • Laura

    Honestly, reading these comments makes me feel relieved. I had the hell experience, and no one here can understand it. It needs to be illegal. I couldn’t even move, and if I hadn’t been vomiting all over myself, I would have been raped. severe hallucinations told me I was vomiting my insides, and if I wanted to get out of the dream I had to get all of them out. I could see my bones and organs sitting on my lap. This did not last 20 minutes, it lasted hours. I couldn’t tell which reality was real. In truth, if I had had a gun, I probably would have shot myself too, because I could have honestly believed I was in Hell. It’s good to now not everyone blows it off and there are others out there who understand that this is no joke.

  • hh

    A boy in my hometown just died from chemical burns in his lungs and his heart was double the size it was supposed to be from smokiing k2

  • Lola

    I smoked this k2 for a about 2 months. I felt ok, at first. But one time that I smoked it, I had a sever panic attack. My heart started to race, I got very scared. I felt like I was going crazy and was going to die. I begged God to stop it, thought that I can never go back to normal again. It lasted for about 1 hour. I’m never touching this stuff again. It was the WORST experience of my life!!!!!

  • CandiceP

    I love how people are quick to say that the drugs had nothing to do with it…while the pharmaceutical companies make drugs for depression, etc.; which may cause suicial thoughts, etc. Who’s to say this K2 stuff didn’t effect this particular kid differently. Sad either way!

  • Allen B.

    You guys are horrible. If you get high on drugs and decide to kill yourself, you have a very weak mind. How could you get high feel good and all the sudden decide to kill yourself. If you are already a lost confused soul the drugs make it worse. If you have a head on your shoulders then drugs will never do anything like this. I smoke tons of this stuff. There is no way REAL people REALLY feel like killing themselves. But I do believe propaganda if the mongers would definitely write something like that. Look at REAL facts and make your OWN decisions. What about the REAL admitted suicides on alcohol? But that is still legal.

  • scaredshitless

    Y’all that are defending this synthetic weed Cpap are dumbasses. this shitless is toxic. i should know i had a trip from he’ll from it, and am lucky i came out of it alive.