THIS PAGE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THOSE WHO DIED AS VICTIMS OF SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA
Don’t let anyone tell you that Synthetic Marijuana is not dangerous.
These are only the victims whose stories have been in the media or have been shared with us to publicize. Many victims of synthetic marijuana have not been identified by their families or by the authorities because testing for synthetic drugs is highly ineffective.
Not only are synthetic drugs not included in standard drug tests, current synthetic drug testing, which must be specifically ordered, cannot detect a large majority of the chemicals used in synthetic marijuana production. Many of the deaths attributed to synthetic marijuana used eyewitness accounts.
Even we know of deaths that have not been published. There are also many survivors, some permanently disabled, that we have not included on this page.
One death is too many. These were vibrant, beautiful people–loved by their families and friends.
We mourn their loss.
Please let us know if you are aware of additional victims who have gone public. Please post links to their information in our comments section.
We can’t stress enough how important it is for family and loved ones to publicize the death of their loved one from synthetic marijuana in order to save the lives of others.
Victims names are in alphabetical order.
Click on names for a full story.
Daniel Barto died in a car accident. Ryan Nordstrom is charged with Vehicular Homicide after ingesting XLR-11, which is a synthetic cannabinoid
Garry Bradley, 62
Retired banker and community leader Garry Bradley, 62, died after being struck while he was jogging. Joseph R. Ruwaldt, 20, the driver of the pickup truck, tested positive for synthetic marijuana.
The mother of a Fort Wayne boy who was found floating in a southwest Allen County pond Sunday says her son was smoking synthetic marijuana — or spice — before he died.
Philip Bushong, 23, died April 21, 2012 in Washington, D.C., after being stabbed in the heart with a pocket knife. A fellow Marine, Michael Poth, who was high on synthetic marijuana and has been charged in connection with the stabbing death following an altercation and is awaiting trial.
Chase was found dead in the hot tub in his home. His friends say he was smoking synthetic marijuana when he died.
Kim Garcia of Litchfield (center) holds a picture of her son, Jeremy Buzick, who committed suicide on Dec. 3, 2011. According to Kim, during the last months Jeremy was with us, he got hooked on the synthetic marijuana that can be purchased at some area gas stations and liquor stores.
Jeremy Chissel, 32
Jeremy Chissel, 32, of New Castle, IN died Feb. 1 when a 2003 Ford Mustang driven by Karissa Campbell, 23, Anderson, crashed on Ind. 3 south of Muncie, near the intersection with Delaware County Road 775 South. According to court documents, Campbell told police, she and Chissel had traveled from New Castle to Muncie for the express purpose of buying spice at a Muncie convenience store. Campbell voluntarily submitted to a blood test after the crash, and that sample was found to contain cannabinoids, according to court documents.
Bob Cipriano, a school district business manager, was beaten to death, allegedly by his 19 year-old son, Tucker. His wife, Rose, and 17-year-old Sal Cipriano were also severely beaten. Sal’s twin brother managed to hide and dial 911. Their eight-year-old sister, Isabella, managed to open the door for police when they arrived. Tucker’s friend Ian Zinderman had been with the men before the break-in while they were getting high on K2, or synthetic marijuana “They were really, really stoned. I was surprised that they could even function,” he said.
Matthew Evans, 21,was babysitting the infant when he began to shake him while he was crying, according to a criminal complaint. He admitting to investigators he had been smoking Spice, a brand of synthetic marijuana, that evening. After weeks of surgery to relieve swelling on the brain, Jayden died.
The Kern County Coroner’s Office said that Cook died suddenly from lethal exposure to synthetic cannabinoid.
James Crawford was one of the passengers in a car driven by 28-year-old Roger Malloy. Robert Malloy further indicated that the occupants of the car, including the driver Roger Malloy, had been smoking K2 prior to the accident.
Joey took his own life after smoking Spice for a few months, leaving behind the 8-month-old son he adored. His parents say Joey, who had previously been very happy and well adjusted person, confessed to becoming addicted only days before his death.
Thomas Davis, father of two teens who were hit by a train, thinks he lost his sons because they had been smoking the “legal weed” that’s known at K2 and “spice.” He said, “I think that was a factor in them losing their lives.”
Thom Davis had a degree in Psychology, and had struggled through alcoholism to become a proud and active member of AA. He had three daughters, four stepchildren, and 13 grandchildren. According to police, he died after using synthetic marijuana.
Dakota Blaze Dyer, a student athlete, and an only child, took his life while under the influence of synthetic marijuana.
Max was killed when he smoked synthetic marijuana, then ran his car into a house at speeds over 100 m.p.h. after calling his brother to say that he had smoked “that legal stuff” and was “freaking out.” To The Maximus Foundation is named in his honor.
A talented musician, Jason Frame checked himself into a psychiatric hospital after having serious psychiatric symptoms while smoking synthetic marijuana. “Upon his admission, Jason exhibited signs of delusion, hallucination, paranoia and agitation,” attorney Steve Levin said in a news release. “Because of his expressed suicidal ideations and behaviors, he should have been placed under close supervision and surveillance.” On Dec. 1, he hanged himself in the bathroom with a hospital gown. He was 23.
“My mother, Kathleen Gaspar, died last September following a fall inside her Marseilles home,” said Sheehan. “And, although her death certificate says she died of massive head injuries, I am sure it was fake, synthetic pot that took her life.”
Patrick Ham was smoking synthetic marijuana with his friends, got into his Jeep, and smashed into a tree. There were no tire marks. He never hit the brakes. Authorities believe he may have blacked out.
28-year-old Lilly Helsley of Middletown died after smoking the drug designed to mimic the effects of marijuana. Hogan’s 16-year-old son says this drug is legal and not hard to find.
According to his mom, Adam R. Hernandez, 28, took his life, likely the result of smoking synthetic marijuana. Adam was fearless and full of life, eager to go skydiving, scuba diving, or kayak shark fishing in Hawaii where he was stationed.
Sam was an athlete, playing 3 sports. His friends and family say that he was not a risk taker. Not know for making many mistakes, Sam along with a friend, made a fatal mistake and experimented with 25c-NBOMe for the first time and didn’t live to tell the tale.
Jonathan Hoffman was shot by his grandmother, who said she was afraid of him because he was high on synthetic marijuana.
Wife and I came home one Friday night to find our son dead from a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Just a week prior to my sons death I had caught him getting ready to smoke synthetic marijuana. After his death I found multiple containers in his chest of drawers which this death comes in. I truly believe this substance is which lead to the death of my child. Before his death he informed us he was having panic attacks. I observed his demeanor to be an aggressive one and one which was agitated with the change of the wind. This stuff kills and if one person is saved by reading these testimonials it was well worth my few minutes of time to share our story. We love and miss you Austin.
Logan Kushner, 19, died Jan. 8 when he slipped and fell in a shallow creek, drowning as he lay unconscious in water that would have been below his knees. The Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner’s Office recently confirmed that Kushner drowned. But in the autopsy report, the medical examiner also listed another factor that may have contributed to his death: synthetic marijuana.
Lamar Jack, 19, an Anderson University Basketball player, collapsed during practice and died several days later of “acute drug toxicity with excited delirium that led to multiple organ failure.”
Kelvin Melton died unexpectedly. Several open packets of Synthetic Marijuana were found in his bathroom.
Bill and Lynn McKernan, who were twins, were killed when Wayne S. Kichar drove a dump truck 500 feet across a grassy median at 55 mph, went airborne, and sheered off the roof of the twins’ vehicle. Kichar admitted using a synthetic marijuana, and he was allegedly high at the time of the crash.
Douglas Morigeau was stabbed to death, and his wife, Cheryl, was critically injured when her throat was cut during a home invasion on December 6, 2012 in Dixon, MT. According to charging documents, Nathan Lee William Calvert confessed to attacking the Morigeaus after smoking “Spice” for nearly two weeks “almost constantly.”
Lori and Steve Murphree hold up a photo of their son, Brandon, who shot himself July 3 after using a marijuana-like product sold under several brand names, including Spice. They testified to a public hearing in Montgomery, Ala., on Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, organized by the state health officer, who is looking for ways to ban the product. (AP Photo/Phillip Rawls)
The El Paso County Coroner ruled synthetic marijuana as the official cause of death for the first time in the case of a recent Wasson High School graduate. Dr. Robert Bux says Nicholas likely died from a heart attack or seizure caused by the chemicals these “fake pot” companies use to mimic a marijuana high.
According to a criminal complaint, Destry D. Wilson, 22, of Redding, Calif., stopped his flatbed semi in the westbound driving lane of I-94 near Menomonie and was rear-ended by a second semi, which burst into flame. The driver of that truck, Brian L. Paglusch, 43, of Paynesville, couldn’t escape his damaged cab and died of “catastrophic thermal injuries” just after the crash, about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday. Wilson has been charged with two felonies for allegedly smoking synthetic marijuana before causing a fiery nighttime crash.
Joshua Tyler McKeel, 21, has entered a plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity for the first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of his fiancé, Hannah Parker, 19, of St. Martinville, LA and the death of their unborn child. McKeel is accused of killing Parker on Jan. 18 with a shotgun blast to the face at close range at Parker’s mother’s mobile home. McKeel was smoking synthetic marijuana before the shooting occurred. “In this case he was smoking that fake weed thinking that he was going to get a marijuana high, and he got a lot more than he bargained for,” said his attorney, Gary Le Gros. Hanna Parker leaves behind a 2 year-old daughter.
Maureen Barrett found her son dead on the kitchen floor in March. She also found packets of “Cloud Nine” and “Mr. Nice Guy” in his apartment – his favorite brands of synthetic marijuana. Barrett blames her son’s death on the manmade weed – dangerous blends of chemicals she wants to see outlawed throughout the country. A toxicology report confirmed her son had synthetic cannibinoids in his system the day he died. She is still awaiting word on his official cause of death.
A 13-year-old in the U.S. who became ill after smoking synthetic marijuana and had a double lung transplant died. The boy smoked the fake marijuana out of a plastic candy dispenser and suffered chemical burns to both lungs. He was put on a respirator in June and had a double lung transplant in September.
18-year-old David Rozga was smoking with friends when he apparently “freaked out” and said he was going to hell. David took his life minutes later in his Indianola, Iowa, home.
(Picture Unavailable, this is an illustration only) The child’s 20-year-old mother told medics she was asleep in her apartment in the 5000 block of Magoun Avenue when her boyfriend, Michael Ivy, woke her to tell her the baby wasn’t breathing.
During a third interview with police, Ivy admitted to to becoming angry when the baby wouldn’t stop crying while he was trying to smoke some “gas station weed.”
Oliver Satchel-Smith smoked some Synthetic Marijuana on a private beach. He was alone. The next morning, he was found dead. Cause of death: Synthetic Marijuana.
Tyler J. Smith
Tyler took his life after smoking Spice for about 2 weeks. Tyler’s father said, “He smoked it and it changed him.”
Aaron Stinson, whose first name means bright light – a light that was extinguished on September 26, 2011, after he smoked something called “Mr. Nice Guy” relaxinol, a type of synthetic marijuana, then went to sleep. In the morning, Aaron’s friends found him in complete cardiac and respiratory arrest. “It literally created a death of sleep,” said his mother, Deidre Canaday. “It effected his central nervous system so that his breathing shallowed, stopped, and his heart followed, and I can tell you he was in the best physical condition of his life.”
Nick Stuban was caught buying synthetic marijuana — which is legal — and expelled from Fairfax County Public Schools. He later took his own life.
Texas Health Dallas confirms 19-year-old Dominique Darrell Tate died at the hospital. Tate — who also called himself “Deezy”– may be the first death ever linked medically to the drug K2.
Jasmyn was killed by her friend as she slept. Her friend was high on synthetic marijuana.
Stephen was hanging out with friends and had just smoked Spice when they began to arm wrestle with each other. “All of a sudden Stephen let out a yell and fell back,” Seven said. Stephen’s friends carried him into his home where his mother, who is a paramedic, awoke. Seven cried as she described how her daughter tried hard to revive Stephen. “He looked up at her but she couldn’t save her own son.” Stephen was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. “His father called and told me they just ‘called’ Stephen, meaning he died, and I said ‘This can’t be … how?’” A day later Stephen’s friends confessed to the family they had smoked Spice just before Stephen collapsed.
Lexington County Coroner Harry O. Harman said 37-year-old Brady Davis Weed and his son, Drew, both of Lexington, were traveling westbound when Prescott’s 2008 GMC pickup truck heading in the other direction crossed the median and hit Weed’s 2006 Avalon head-on. Prescott was high on synthetic marijuana at the time.
Jake Wasserburger was an accomplished race car driver, he was a pilot, and he was known for his generous heart. He took his own life while under the influence of synthetic marijuana.
After police caught him with more than 4 ounces of marijuana in his parents’ home in December, Alex Winterhalter swapped drugs and started smoking synthetic pot. According to his friends, Winterhalter figured it was the best way to keep getting high — without getting in trouble again. Winterhalter, 22, apparently paid for that mistake with his life.
Rachael Witt was one of the passengers in a car driven by 28-year-old Roger Malloy. Robert Malloy further indicated that the occupants of the car, including the driver Roger Malloy, had been smoking K2 prior to the accident. She was a freshman in high school.
Two hours and 21 minutes after Victor Woolson walked into Xtreme Underground in downtown Oswego, NY where he bought and then smoked an herbal incense, emergency rescue crews pulled his lifeless body from the rough waters of Lake Ontario on Aug. 9.
Less than 18 hours later, Woolson, 19, of Lycoming, was pronounced dead at Oswego Hospital.