Local News

Mom says 'fake pot' nearly killed children

Posted September 21, 2010
Updated October 24, 2010

— A Lillington mother says her two teenage children almost died Monday evening after smoking an incense that mirrors the effects of marijuana.

Kaylee Jones, 17, and her 14-year-old stepbrother bought the synthetic herb, called K2, at a gas station in Harnett County.

Shortly after smoking it, their mother, Vallory Koski said, they were rushed to a local hospital with high pulse rates.

Doctors told Koski the teens nearly went into cardiac arrest.

"Her heart rate got up to 178 beats (per minute) when it should be 100, and my stepson's got up to 162," Koski said. "They almost died last night because of this legal synthetic marijuana."

The substance, readily available and legal in North Carolina, is sold under many different names as an aromatherapy incense.

Teen says 'fake pot' nearly killed her Mom says 'fake pot' nearly killed her teens

The package warns it is not for human consumption, but a recent WRAL News investigation uncovered that many people are buying and smoking it to get high.

Several states have already banned K2, but not North Carolina.

"I think it needs to be banned," Koski said.

Although it is not illegal, it is on the radar of some local lawmakers

Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, says lawmakers have had some discussion in the General Assembly about K2, and he wants to push for legislation in the next session to make the substance illegal.

For now, Koski is warning other teens and parents through her family’s story.

"It seems like it's really becoming a big problem, and something really needs to be done."

John Huffman, a Clemson University chemist who developed the product while doing pharmaceutical research, told WRAL News that the research did not shed any light on the safety of the product and that he is not responsible for its recreational use.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Nonewsisgoodnews Oct 25, 2010

    I'm appalled just as much by their ages. Any child on the street walks up and buys this stuff, its bad enough with the energy drinks they chug multiple of each day to show off the tabs they keep around their neck.

    iworkandpaytaxes: This is not pot. Its synthetic, completely, it even hits receptors pot wouldn't normally and like any synthetic drug, is able to be much more potent. Don't try to compare it, this has a very good health reason to be banned. Its not just a prohibition outlook behind it.

  • joniblair724 Sep 24, 2010

    HM_STITCHES: I specifically asked the EMT's about my son's heart rates when we saw them last night. They said they were surprised he was alive, and even "ran the strips" the Sunday after his 'incident' to look at his rates again. They said he was "running 230-280, spiking at 300". After the meds they gave him for his seizure started to take effect, his heart rate started to come down. But I can assure you my son is still alive (thankfully). He cut & served us all cake last night during our "thank you/celebrate life" dinner. Nor was I 'making stuff up for a quick reaction.' My only goal in this is to hopefully make others aware and perhaps prevent this from happening to them. It was definitely not something I would want anyone else to have to go through.
    If not for the skill, dedication & expertise of those amazing EMT's, my son WOULD be dead. I am ever thankful to them.

  • iworkandpaytaxes Sep 23, 2010

    Whose health? A man made law regulating Gods plant? Lol poor people. Show me your studies that shows pot to be unhealthy. We don't "smoke" pot anymore we vaporize it.

  • flyingcheetah92 Sep 23, 2010

    However, the fact is that despite your social standing you are still willing to jeopardize your own health and break the law.

  • iworkandpaytaxes Sep 23, 2010

    I'm 28. Smoked pot since I was 16. I'm employed (6 years on job), home owner, tax payer, engaged to be married, car owner, no criminal record except for that one pot charge..figures. If I didn't tell you I smoked weed everyday you would never know. Weak minds should stay away from "drugs". Be an alcoholic and kill yourself. At least it's legal right?

  • iworkandpaytaxes Sep 23, 2010

    How much did they smoke? The whole bag? Lol weak minds don't need recreational "drugs".

  • bear2010 Sep 23, 2010

    no comment....nooo wait a minute...who was the person who actually convince the kids its legal and you can smoke it

  • joniblair724 Sep 23, 2010

    I'm just repeating what the EMTs' supervisor told me over the phone when I called to thank them for saving his life. I am seeing the EMT's tonight to thank them personally. I will ask them again. If I was given incorrect information, I apologize.

  • HM_Stitches Sep 23, 2010

    wait wait wait....joniblair724 how old is your son? because if he had a heart rate of 300 even if it was a completely pure sinus tach rhythm I hate to say it but he'd be deader then a door knob. new born babys might MIGHT get that high and survive I've seen a couple at 250 holding strong but I severely doubt your 1 month old was smoking k2....maybe if your gonna make stuff up for a quick reaction you could at least try to be believable....just saying

  • flyingcheetah92 Sep 22, 2010

    I do not think that anyone has a right to complain if they are put in a dangerous situation because they went directly against what a product is approved to do.