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Warning to Kids: 14-Year-Old Dead From Smoking Synthetic Weed

Kids who haven’t tried marijuana are likely to be faced with the decision to smoke it at some point along their tween journey. Tonya Rice’s son, Brandon, was recently faced with the decision — to smoke synthetic marijuana — and he did not survive the experience.

The eighth grader became ill after smoking the substance out of a plastic PEZ candy dispenser. The damage to his lungs was so extensive, he was put on a respirator, then had a double lung transplant. He died Oct. 27 at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The boy’s mother says anti-rejection drugs he needed because of the lung transplants weakened his immune system and made him unable to fight infection.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed a law outlawing such substances a few days after Brandon smoked the fake weed and collapsed. The ban took effect in August.

Fourteen-year-olds these days are pretty tech-savvy, but you can’t rely on the Internet to inform the teens in your family about this new threat to their lives.

It has not been reported whether this was Brandon’s first time trying marijuana, but sadly, it was his last.kathleen cross