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  1. mrsolearyscow
    Pittsburgh - A 13-year-old Pennsylvania boy who underwent a double-lung transplant after his lungs collapsed from smoking synthetic marijuana in a plastic pipe made from a Pez candy dispenser has died from an infection.

    Brandon Rice became ill after smoking the fake marijuana in June. He complained of numbness in his hands and feet, said he was unable to breathe, and was vomiting blood. He was transported to the hospital where images of his chest showed severe chemical burns in his collapsed lungs.

    His parents, Ray and Tonya, said the doctors questioned their son to find out what he had smoked or ingested and he admitted to smoking like marijuana. The Rice's searched his bedroom and found a blend of "synthetic marijuana called Spice." According to police, "the substance goes by many names but is most popularly known as K-2," reports WPXI.

    The substance was labeled and sold as potpourri or incense when Brandon smoked it through the homemade candy dispenser pipe. "You can smell the chemical in it but it's a potpourri that these kids are smoking. It's crazy. I'm sure the Spice had a lot to do with it, but he also inhaled a lot of plastic," Ray Rice said.

    Brandon was put on a respirator in June and had a double lung transplant in September. His immune system, weakened from the transplant, was unable to fight off a recent infection. The Rice's hoped for a miracle for their son, but that was not to come, he passed away in his sleep this morning at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, according to Pittsburgh TribLive.

    In August, Brandon's parents went public with their experience in hopes that no other parent or child would have to go through what they were dealing with. Tonya Rice told WPXI, "they also hope other parents hear their story and share it with their children."

    The tragedy that claimed Brandon's life came months before Gov. Tom Corbett signed a bill into law that outlawed the sale of 'fake drugs' like K2, Spice, Vanilla Sky, Salvia and bath salts that produce a marijuana-like high after being ingested. Pennsylvania became the 21st state to ban the sale of synthetic drugs, which are known to cause agitation, paranoia and hallucinations, according to the National Institutes of Health.

    Pennsylvania State Rep. Jennifer Mann, D-Lehigh said in a press statement:

    "These poisons are called ‘fake drugs,’ but the danger they present to young people and the burden the use of these ‘fake’ drugs puts on our police departments and hospitals is all too real. As of today we’re giving our police officers the tools they need to get these drugs off the street and out of retail stores.”

    “The biggest problem with these drugs was access – a 17-year old couldn’t walk into a mini-mart and buy cigarettes or walk into a bar and buy alcohol without severe repercussions for the teenager and for the business doing the selling, but before this law that same teenager could walk into a smoke shop and buy a synthetic version of cocaine that’s been called even more intense and dangerous than the real drug by addicts.”

    Under the new law. first-time offenders convicted of simple possession will face up to a year in jail and a $5000. fine. Those convicted of the more serious crime of possession with the intent to deliver will face up to five years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

    Source: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/313483


    Comment by mrsolearyscow: Posting this for posterity, despite sketchy factual errors. (Salvia and bath salts produce a marijuana-like high? Salvia? What?)

    And how dumb do you have to be to sell K2 to a 13 year-old?

    I'm pretty 'wtf' about the severe chemical burns thing, though.


  1. Ellisdeee
    That is quite young to be possibly OD'ing on cannabinoids. But did they consider that he was using a plastic smoking device that would melt pretty easily upon fire contact. The article sure he didn't inhale burning plastic? First thing that came to mind.
  2. voiceduck
    What the hell?
  3. mrsolearyscow
    That does seem the most likely culprit. And Pez dispensers are so small that there wouldn't be much space between the mouthpiece and the 'bowl' area, so the smoke would be hot and fume-y.

    I'm tempted to get a Pez dispenser and melt it out of curiosity now, though. I didn't think the heat generated by burning spice could melt the plastic that much. Smoking out of a plastic toy seems dangerous if done repeatedly over a period of time, but could it really fuck up your lungs after just a few puffs?
  4. Ellisdeee

    Yeah, the article slants things too much to even bother picking it a part, everyone here probably realizes how biased it is. It's sad the young kid lost his life, but examples like yours plus where they imply 17 year olds can walk into all headshops are some stretches. 17 year olds can buy spice as easily as 17 year olds can buy beer imo. Probably just get it from people who can. I know I was buying it once and someone said their son (lol?) was having him buy it for him since he was too young.
  5. TripStick
    I bet black smoke from burning plastic would coat the lungs quite quickly. If he was feeling numbness and having trouble breathing it sounds a lot like oxygen deprivation. Would be dumb to base any legislature banning these substances on a 13 year old kid who smoked spice out of a pez container.

    I remember reading an article about a kid in Korea (i think?) that siphoned his parents cars to drink the gasoline. He did it to emulate some cartoon he watched. This went on for years before his parents realized what he was doing..... Some parents just need to educate their children better. Anyone past the age of 10 who doesn't know not to inhale burning plastic or drink gasoline had a spotty upbringing in my opinion.
  6. mrsolearyscow
    Article with sligtly more info:

    PITTSBURGH -- A 13-year-old boy who ended up in the hospital after smoking a synthetic form of marijuana has died, a month after receiving a double-lung transplant.

    “He was very smart, funny. He never had a dull moment. He was not a mean person. He had a lot of friends,” Kristen Rice said of her nephew, Brandon Rice.

    Kristen Rice told Channel 4 Action News that her nephew passed away at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital on Thursday morning.

    “Everything started going down further this morning, so they made the decision and his whole family was there. We were all around him. He went peacefully,” said Kristen Rice.

    Rice injured his lungs in August after smoking a substance known as K2.

    When Rice first went into the hospital his father, Raymond, said his son got the fake marijuana, also known as "Spice" from an older friend who bought it at a store in Uniontown.

    Shortly after smoking the drug, the teen developed nausea, a full body rash, headaches and high fever.
    His father said the substance caused a chemical burn in his son’s lungs.

    “Right before his transplant, even before then when he didn't have lungs, everything was going well. He was on a machine at children's called an ECMO that was keeping him healthy and alive,” said Kristen Rice.

    The teen received a double-lung transplant on Sept. 28. His aunt said his prognosis was so good that the family had begun sending out emails to help raise funds for transplants.

    But less than 15 minutes after they sent the e-mails, Brandon Rice passed away.

    “I remember his last words were, ‘I love you.’ At least I have that at heart,” said Kristen Rice.

    Rice’s family said an infection from the transplant likely took his life.

    Rice's parents said they want other teens to know just how dangerous synthetic drugs can be.

    Rice’s family said it has been receiving support from his Facebook page and is accepting donations at any PNC Bank branch.

    His family is also working with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association.

    Read more: http://www.wtae.com/allegheny/29602905/detail.html
  7. Dark Mage
    It's situations like this that ruins it for everyone else. Instead of realizing this situation was caused from inhaling "plastic" they blame it on the drug itself. Its such a shame.
  8. godztear
    My heart really goes out to the little Guy. May his soul have a safe journey.

    The PEZ dispenser was such a novel idea no matter how ignorant. If he did not feel the need to hide his recreational curiosity maybe someone could have told him how bad of an idea it truly was.

    Of course the media will blame the substance for headline purposes. The shame of the situation comes from the exploitation of this young mans life just to pass a story.
  9. Alfa
    I am actually surprised that this did not happen sooner. We have often warned against the use of various dangerous solvents, amateur mixing of solvents with herbs, evaporating solvents from herbs without proper vacuum equipment.

    There are so many hobbyists making money from throwing solvents, herbs and cannabinoids in a bucket that accidents are bound to happen.

    So far we had only seen reports of exploding spice blends and overdoses due to hotspots, but now we can add burned lungs to the list.

    I hope that this makes it more clear why we limit such discussion to the chemistry forums.
  10. mrsolearyscow
    Time for me to UTFSE and read more about this, methinks.

    While I've seen many people argue that synth cannabinoids 'aren't that bad', I have no reason to believe that most spice manufacturers aren't sketchy as fuck.
  11. Ellisdeee
    But the thing is too, he would have to be the winning lotto number kid to have this happen off what seems like minimal usage. After [myself] using the stuff for a year and 4 months and probably trying over 40 blends through several bans from different sources, I have never so much as developed a cough or ache in my lungs. It just seems too coincidental that this kid could have had a poorly made batch that was so poorly made it caused chemical burn when he was using a highly melt-able 3 inch long plastic device to smoke it from. The flame wouldn't even have to make direct contact to melt a pez dispenser, the plastic in those things are quite weak. If he is 13 and young, it wouldn't surprise me if he made the bowl with some tin-foil as well.

    We never will know unless the article tells us but I have this gut feeling the batch was fine and that using a pez dispenser to smoke from will probably yield bad results no matter what you smoke out of it. Just for visual reference for those who may not have seen one of these since they were a kid. The thing is plastic + the plastic insert in the middle. You would have to make an incredibly terribly made batch to cause that damage off smoking a poor made batch. That damage is easily done if you inhale burnt plastic though. Just my 2c ^.^

  12. mrsolearyscow
    I'd actually like to know how one smokes out of Pez dispenser. I'm guessing he removed the white slide-y bit inside and used the external plastic case like a chillum?
  13. cra$h
    Maybe it was the spice, and not the plastic.
    We're always so quick to make excuses, making the drugs always innocent.

    Now I'm not trying to call anyone out or stir up controversy, but none of us know how bad these "legal highs" are.

    Which is all the more reason to just smoke the real deal. They're doin a good job making pot "dangerous".
  14. jon-q
    I’ve just finished reading an article in the Tribune Review which added a bit more info about the potential consciences of inhaling the fumes of burning plastic. The interesting bit is in bold type.

    Teen from Tarrs who smoked synthetic marijuana dies

    A Westmoreland County boy who underwent a double-lung transplant after synthetic marijuana smoked in a PEZ candy dispenser destroyed his lungs died Thursday in Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville.

    Tonya Rice of Tarrs said her son, Brandon, 14, died at 8:21 a.m. -- exactly one month after the transplant -- from an infection that his compromised immune system could not stave off.

    In the days since Brandon fell ill in June, she, her husband, Raymond; and their two other children maintained a constant vigil at his bedside.

    "I never left him since June 14. Me and dad both," Tonya Rice said. "It was hard, very hard. He couldn't talk to us. We had to read his lips. A lot of times we couldn't understand what he was saying. He fought and fought and fought."

    During that time, the Rice family has spoken out about the drug -- with brand names such as K2, Spice, Blaze, Ivory Wave, White Rush, Starry Nights and Vanilla Sky -- in hopes that other children will not be harmed.

    A bill to ban the sale of synthetic marijuana in Pennsylvania was signed June 28 -- just weeks after the Southmoreland eighth-grader was placed on a respirator. More than 30 other states have banned the drug, and more are considering it.

    Synthetic marijuana began appearing in Pennsylvania in 2008, according to officials from the National Drug Intelligence Center in Johnstown.

    The drug previously was sold as incense or herbal smoking blends in tobacco shops, gas stations and convenience stores.

    A spokesman at the state Department of Health said the drug is so new that there are no statistics about the number of deaths resulting from its use. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta also doesn't have nationwide statistics about deaths stemming from the drug.

    Brandon, who marked his 14th birthday in the hospital Aug. 21, was described by his mother as a "smart and caring" boy who loved baseball and fishing.

    Dr. J. Douglas Bricker, dean of Duquesne University's Mylan School of Pharmacy, said that although he doesn't underestimate the danger of the ingredients in the man-made designer drug, smoking synthetic marijuana in a plastic PEZ dispenser would have been a "significant factor" in Brandon's death.

    "It's (the drug) fairly potent, but nothing in the literature has been shown to cause any lung toxicity," he said. But Bricker said plastic -- such as that found in the candy dispenser -- heated at high temperatures will release highly toxic cyanide gas and carbon monoxide.

    The drug is sold on the Internet in 50- to 500-milligram packets for $25 to $75 each. The drug can cause seizures, vomiting, high blood pressure, heart problems and psychological problems such as paranoia, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.

    Richard Gazarik
    TRIBUNE-REVIEW 28th Oct 2011
  15. kailey_elise
    While, yes, I know many people are quick to defend drugs, even RCs like the synthetic cannabinoids, in this instance I *really* think the culprit is, in fact, the PEZ dispenser-cum-pipe. That plastic is incredibly thin, and inhaling plastic fumes (even if the plastic doesn't actually burn, but is just warmed up) is ANYTHING but good for you.

    Unless this poor kid happened to have a vicious unknown allergy to one of the carriers of the synth cannabinoids, the effects he had IMMEDIATELY upon use...ugh, just sounds like hot plastic fumes.

    We used to burn plastic Bic pens as kids; take out the innards so you're left with just a tube, light the end on fire and smash it into the ground so it was standing at an angle, then light the other end. We'd watch it flame & melt to the ground in little burning blobs, black acrid smoke streaming up from the burning pile the entire time. I can't even imagine trying to purposefully inhale that shit into my lungs.

  16. cduval04
    ummmm...my vote goes with the pez dispenser....I have smoked JWH-018 (pre-ban) and now smoke AM-2201 a few times a week, two hits get me baked. I've never heard of anyone's lungs collapsing from smoking any herb FROM A PROPER RECEPTACLE unless there is some serious pre-existing condition...inhaling melted plastic on the other hand.....
  17. MadOne
    Whats the score with this synthetic cannabis does it actually get you stoned like a good cheese in a joint ? spice got banned here ages ago and now attracts class b penalties just like good ganja, so why buy a synthetic crap when it tastes like shit and screws ur lungs up. The natural product is much safer ;)

    Prohibition just does not work !
  18. MadOne
    I feel for the parents on this one if it was decriminalised this would never of happened :( ive smoked cannabis scince 1993 non stop (not including the kilo's of nasty gritt weed that used to come from holland or belgium between 2005-2008 we had that about its stopped here now thou. I stopped buying then and used greenhouse seed co. seeds to grow my own except for that i have never had dodgy stuff except once when we got some stuff that was ment to be squidgy black but was actually opium or black tar heroin 5 drags on a joint and i was clinging on to a tree just to keep upright head was all over the shop for about 3 hours and i was the most tolerant to ganja in our gang thats how i knew it must of been opium or heroin in it now lol hardly dodgy just not what it was supposed to be cant complain 1.7 grams of opium or black tar if only it was still about :joint:
  19. Bad Rabbits
    This is interesting. Do you that solvent residue may possibly have been an attributing factor?

    No doubt the chemistry forums need to be restricted.

    Do you not think it would serve the purpose of harm reduction to have a forum dedicated to the safe 'DIY' production of synthetic cannabinoid based blends. Even if it was simply a closed forum, with a sticky pictorial demonstrating safe technique.

    Please don't give me a hard time, I've just read through the thread "Blend making threads now belong in the chemistry forum", though I still think this should be looked at again. There are plenty of other websites which will offer instructions to beginners, unfortunately most are questionable. People will still refer to these as the only alternative though, the value for money these blends represent is too much incentive for people to take the risk.

    In my opinion, the requirement for a proper pictorial is as necessary, and as important as, for example, the 'Volumetric Measurement' Pictorial. Paramount...Surely? But I guess I'm on my own with this one.

    I've been trying to ascertain exactly what plastic the PEZ dispenser was made from. After reading through some of the patents, no materials were specified. If anybody has one of these dispensers at home, I would very much appreciate if you could dig it out and get back to me. There should be markings to denote the type of plastic, which I can help you identify.

    Personally, I'm really confused. I would automatically say that the blend is probably not to blame... However, I can't imagine anybody being stupid enough to burn that much plastic and inhale it... I mean, the dispenser must have been literally on fire to cause that kind of damage.

    I bet a good percentage of us here on the forums have accidentally, directly inhaled some amount of burning plastic. I know I definitely have in my youth. Whether it be through poorly constructed DIY bongs, improvised meth or crack pipes, poor quality hash, or whatever (Here in the UK people tend to use the small food colouring bottles to smoke crack, albeit with ash to provide some insulation).

    I hope an autopsy yields some conclusive results.

    This is a short description of the effects of inhaling various types of plastic fumes:

    I am unable to post a link to the source, apologies.
  20. MadOne
    some people do use spontex that metal gauze type stuff near me as well as ash to smoke stone probably just as bad but plastic pipes are asking for trouble imo
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