OLATHE, Kan. -- A 23-year old Olathe man is dead and his family says it has everything to do with synthetic marijuana.
Devon Young collapsed and died April 19 at Overland Park Regional Medical Center just hours after allegedly smoking the illegal drug. Devon's father, Don Young, says doctors told him his son had the heart of an 80-year old when he died from cardiac arrest.
"That tells me that this stuff is very, very dangerous," said Don Young.
Now the elder Young wants to warn others about synthetic marijuana, sometimes better known as K-2.
" When you see what this stuff did to him (Devon) in the hospital, I would think that would be enough," said Young.
The Johnson County Crime Lab is all too familiar with the dangers of synthetic marijuana.
Forensic scientist Jeremiah Morris tells Fox 4 K-2 packets are sold under numerous names and the chemical contents can vary widely, "It acts on the same brain receptors as marijuana does but it acts on it in an entirely different way. In fact more potent, some of the chemicals coming out are 5, 10, 50, 100 times more potent than marijuana."
Kansas was the first state in the nation to ban K-2 in 2010 and its chemical cousins in 2012. But Devon Young's girlfriend tells Fox 4 users can still find the 1 gram packets sold as incense for $10 each at local convenience stores. She asked us not use her name, but Young's girlfriend say stores will sell the packets illegally under the counter to known customers.
Don Young says his son Devon had been addicted for two years and worries his child won't be the last to die from abusing synthetic marijuana.
"My son always thought he was invincible, you know he was 23-years old. It's almost impossible to describe how much you miss a child, once they're gone."