Synthetic Marijuana - One Family's Story

The State of Colorado is preparing to ring in the new year with a new law: legal use of marijuana, even if it's not for the purpose of medicine. Here in Nebraska, authorities continue to prevent more tragedies involving people using a synthetic drug intended to mimic marijuana.

William "Billy" Tucker died this year from an overdose in Lancaster County.

On Monday, his family hosted a forum to show parents the danger of the fake marijuana.

Kailee Brandt is nine-years-old and she told us of her brother Jake, saying, "I just wish he would see that he's hurting us. I want him to know that if he stops he'll have a family that would help him."

Kailee cries for her big brother who has been doing K2 for more than two years. It’s a synthetic form of marijuana sold legally as potpourri.

Jake England says, "I got with my friend and he smoked K2 with me. And I did it with him three times. I was in treatment for six months. Now I feel lousy."

Since starting using K2 and other drugs two years ago Jake's family says he has permanent brain damage and at 22-years-old he's also on disability. But the consequences do not stop him from continuing to use.

His mother Lee, has had enough.

She said, “I told him last weekend, if we went through this one more time we were going to be done. I don’t want to be done. When I get the call saying he's dead, I don’t want to be that parent who regrets not being there at the end. But he's killing me."

Their last hope was in Ashland where one parent who lost his own son in October to a K2 overdose held a seminar to help other parents deal with this situation.

Steve Tucker’s advice is, "Run. My son - one puff took my son’s life. This stuff is 50 times more potent than marijuana."

Lee is hoping that with Steve Tucker's help Jake can finally change.

“I got to quit,” Jake said. “I'm going to not hang out with my friend. Avoid him. Try to attend AA meetings again."

Meanwhile, his younger sister is learning a lesson from her brother.

“I promised my mom that I would never do it because now that I've seen what it’s done with my brother, I'm not going to do it."

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