$10 Million Business Built on the Naivety of Teens

If I were young, and I’d never heard all the stories about how dangerous synthetic marijuana is, there’s a safe bet that I would come to the impression that synthetic marijuana is safer than real marijuana.

Real marijuana is illegal, and fake pot is legal in some places—and only recently illegal in others.  It’s only after maturity and wisdom do we realize that things are not always that simple.

Can you imagine being a teenager today?  There are people that prey on the naivety of teens. They target their marketing right to the innocent nature of our kids.  They advertise in magazines that are sold only to young people.  They use Youtube and Facebook.

Before you know it, the bad guys have managed to convince our kids that what they are selling is the best invention since sliced bread.  “A safe alternative to (real) marijuana; and it’s legal too!”  It’s a glass of wine for the teenager, perfectly legal and presumably safe.  I know I would have fallen for this propaganda. 

People like to say that the kids are just dumb for smoking “potpourri” and anyone that would smoke “potpourri” deserves what he gets, when the truth is that the people who are critical are the dumb ones.  It’s not potpourri, it’s what kids think is the safe, legal alternative to marijuana.

They think of it as an equivalent to a glass of wine, not PCP or LSD.  Only the adults believe the label “potpourri.”  What they don’t realize is that they are proving how naive people are, and they are proving my point: most of us would have done the same thing when we were young.  This is why a MAJORITY of kids have smoked fake pot!

How was the industry able to grow to $10 billion if it was that unsafe and the hospitalizations and deaths were growing quickly? First of all, kids generally don’t tell when bad things happen, unless the officials get involved or death occurs—and sometimes not even then.

We’ve seen it time and time again.  Their friends often report that they were watching their friend while he or she was having seizures and vomiting.  They don’t call 911.

I often ask, “What were they watching for, death? It’s too late then!”  You would think that the temporary paralysis would be enough to call 911.  Ashley Stillwell,  one young woman who smoked fake weed, was unresponsive and barely breathing for 3 1/2 hours.  Her friends didn’t call 911!

One “friend” of Ashley’s actually recommended throwing her body in the river if she didn’t start responding within the 1/2 hour.  She could hear her friends, but was unable to move.  Can you imagine her fear?  She was vomiting, and then she went into this paralysis, one of the symptoms that has been reported.  We’ve heard dozens of stories from kids that report horrible side effects that go unreported, so the industry continued to grow while the danger continued.

Why didn’t the government warn us?  Well, that’s a good question.  First, to get the funds to do a big campaign is difficult.  You have to have the numbers to prove it’s a big problem.  Plus, the injury numbers are seriously underreported because so many of the victims are young and it is something that people want to keep secret. Then, the progression of cases was rapid.

Poison control only got 38 calls in 2009.  We saw about 2,925 in 2010.  That’s fast growth.

But it gets worse.  In 2011, we’ve seen about 5,600 (as of Nov 9).  That’s a very quick escalation of death and injury from one product.

You have to convince the people that this is really a big problem, . . . and then apply for money, . . . then wait to get approved, . . . then wait for the money, . . . then start developing a campaign,  . . . and finally get the word out. I don’t even know if our government was planning on telling us to tell the truth.

We can wait for the government to slowly move through the normal processes to save our kids, or we can educate our kids now.


As you know, Karen Dobner’s passion to fight this cause started with the death of her son, Max Dobner.  Please help us keep this crusade alive.

HR 1254, The Synthetic Drug Act of 2011, passed the U. S. House of Representatives on December 8, 2011.

The vote was held under a suspension of the rules to cut debate short and pass the bill, needing a two-thirds majority. This usually occurs for non-controversial legislation. The totals were 317 Ayes, 98 Nays, 18 Present/Not Voting. The bill has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary in the Senate.

We are asking everyone to call Sen. Patrick Leahy, Committee Chair, to ask him to bring HR 1254 up for review as quickly as possible. (202) 224-4242


Categories: Information about Synthetic Marijuana | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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