To many teens, pot seems harmless. Smoking a little marijuana is almost a right of passage. But drugs are dangerous in any form, as the recent death of a 13-year-old reminds us.
The young teen became ill after smoking synthetic marijuana and would later require a double lung transplant. Unfortunately, those heroic efforts weren’t enough to save him. The boy, Brandon Rice, died in October 2011 at a Pennsylvania hospital, according to his mother, Tonya Rice.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the trouble began last summer when the boy smoked the fake marijuana out of a plastic candy dispenser, suffering chemical burns to both lungs. He was put on a respirator in June and had a double lung transplant in September. Anti-rejection drugs he’s taken since the transplants weakened Brandon’s immune system and made him unable to fight off a recent infection, his mother says.
A ban outlawing such substances took effect in August, signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett just a few days after the tragic incident was first reported. It was too late to save Brandon, but hopefully it will keep other kids from meeting the same tragic fate.
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