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Teen dies after smoking synthetic marijuana; parents want to warn others

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LOS ANGELES – A California teenager recently died after smoking one hit of synthetic marijuana. Now, his parents want to prevent similar deaths from happening.Teen dies after smoking smoking synthetic marijuana; parents want to prevent similar deaths

Connor Eckhardt’s parents told KTLA that on July 11, their 19-year-old son inhaled one hit of dried herbs that had been sprayed with chemicals to cause a marijuana-like high.

“In a moment of peer pressure, he gave into that, thinking that was OK, it was somehow safe,” said Connor’s father, Devin Eckhardt. “And one hit later, he goes to sleep and never wakes up.”

The parents said that Connor quickly slipped into a coma and experienced brain swelling.

The Los Angeles Times reported that effects of smoking the often-legal product include altered mental state, irregular heartbeat and seizures.

“These substances are not benign,” said Dr. Andrew Monte, the lead author of an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine. “You can buy designer drugs of abuse at convenience stores and on the Internet. People may not realize how dangerous these drugs can be – up to 1,000 times stronger binding to cannabis receptors when compared to traditional marijuana.”

Connor Eckhardt’s parents have created a Facebook page meant to carry on his memory and tell others about his untimely death. They said his organs will be donated.


  • Jennifer

    Hey Fox8 Local…I realize it’s the Weekend, but Possibly you might want to Delete “Carl’s” comment… NOT funny, Bless that baby teen’s heart…Can you Imagine what His family is feeling now?

  • Doh.

    This story has relevance here, because it serves to warn local people of the possible effects of a legal substance. Apparently you missed that point.

  • Lady G

    Some ppl just don’t have a heart. Someone dies and you make jokes… If it was your family would you still be laughing…??? :-( sorry for the loss of this families loved one.

  • Lily Callihan

    I am so sorry for the loss of your son. He is now a “light” in Heaven watching down on you. I’m sure that he would be proud that you are spreading the word about synthetic marijuana so that maybe lives can be saved. I lost a little girl at the age of 5 from Cerebral Palsy, Seizures and Asthma. There is no deeper pain than losing your child. She was my “light” too. Love one another, stay strong, keep the faith.

  • Cliff

    Holy Smoke! Why didn’t your friends call 911, Are you wishing they had? I knew a young man, that grew up with my boys. He did to much heroin. They took him outside and put him in his car. He died of an overdose. When ask why they didn’t call 911, they said they did not want to get in trouble for drugs. My daughter died of a cocaine overdose. If they had locked her up, from previous bust. She may be alive today.

    • Carl..

      Locking someone up doesn’t stop them…Maybe, if she had a safe place and a safe access to do the drug…She would be live…

      • Jennifer

        Hey, Carl…Its Sunday Evening, AND After Reading your Latest Post, It is PRETTY Obvious ‘That You ARE a Good Person… Don’t Know NOTHING about you,… But At Least YOU had the Courage to Comment At ALL!!!! : ) !!

      • Iama Retiree

        Hey, believe you need to go back to school and learn composition. Think you got left out somewhere along the line …….

  • truth

    Get one thing straight. ‘Synthetic marijuana” is called spice. It has not corelation with real marijuana. Spice is deadly and legal. Yet the real stuff is harmless and illegal. Makes you think when the media tries to
    Skews your knowledge on such things to promote an agenda. If it was real marijuana was legal this kid still might be alive, think about that…

  • casee

    There were 4 teenagers here in Lexington, NC yesterday in the hospital for the same thing. Two went in together and then one after them then another. All having seizures and brain swelling. The two are 18 and were transferred to Baptist hospital. One was 15 years old and not sure to make it. And I’m not sure about the other kid. But this all happened within 2-3 hours apart. This stuff is no joke and needs to be taken off shelves IMMEDIATELY!!

  • John

    Horrible news and my heart goes out to you.
    The report I heard and read was not synthetic pot. It was reported an herb like substance sprayed with a Chemical. Instead of calling it synthetic pot report what Chemical was sprayed on to what herb. This Chemical is what took this boys life not synthetic pot. I do not promote synthetic pot but don’t put the blame on a substance that is not known to the public. Report what chemical was sprayed onto herbs. If you release the chemical that was used it may save a life. The chemical used may be the new way to get high and he was the first casuality. I don’t mean to be calace but they need to say what they sprayed onto the herbs and not say synthetic marijuana.

  • Forever Farting

    Kids need to learn how to say ‘No’ and not give in to peer pressure. Sad story and I hope the youth of this BS country finally realize the ‘cool’ thing to do is no longer breaking the law or trying new stuff thats harmful to your body.

  • Danielle

    Two ofy ex’s are addicted to spice and are slowly killing themselves I’ve watch them go throu crazy things with their mind and body! Addition is a horrible thing and I’d never wish it on my worst enemy. so sorry for you lose and one day said to say but true I will have to tell my son his dad is gone no he hasn’t died but at the pace he’s going it won’t be long ): my god keep you close and im sooo sorry

  • Dylan Popd

    Don’t tag spice with marijuana. Titling this puts the people to thinking it’s weed. Of course he died because it’s straight chemicals. Not in marijuana. It’s sad that this could be bought in a gas station or smoke shop but the government is whining and complaining about weed. Get your titles right, get your facts right. Don’t put false information out.

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