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    Indianola teen's tragic death blamed on incense 
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    Weed
    Indianola teen's tragic death blamed on incense
    By CYNTHIA REYNAUD and JARED STRONG
    Des Moines Register
    June 20, 2010

    An Indianola teenager who smoked a potent, yet legal, drug reportedly suffered a severe panic attack, told friends he was "going to hell," then went home, and shot and killed himself.

    David Rozga, 18, had graduated from Indianola High School just days before his death on June 6.

    On that day, Rozga and two friends smoked K2, a synthetic version of marijuana that is sold in a few Des Moines-area stores as incense. Teenagers and young adults like to smoke it because it can alter their perceptions.

    Rozga's death prompted the director of the Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy to issue a statewide warning last week about K2, also known as Spice. Gary Kendell also said he would seek a ban on the substance when the Iowa Legislature convenes in January.

    K2 can be more dangerous than marijuana, Kendell said. "It causes hallucinations. That doesn't happen with marijuana."



    Substance prohibited in some countries

    K2 is banned in some countries, including Sweden, Switzerland, South Korea, Chile, Germany and France, according to the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

    In the United States, the governors of Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky and Tennessee have signed bills outlawing K2, although not all the laws have gone into effect yet. The Missouri legislature also passed a ban that will take effect unless the governor vetoes it before July 14.

    Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey and New York are considering bills outlawing K2, according to USA Today.

    The substance showed up in central Iowa about two months ago, Kendell said. It can be found at smoke shops, novelty stores and other places that sell incense.

    The label on K2 packaging identifies its dried, olive-colored contents as a variety of herbal plants. A warning states the product is not for human consumption, but it does not warn purchasers that the material also contains various synthetic compounds that appear to stimulate the same areas of the brain as marijuana.

    The result for some is a mellow, marijuana-like high when smoked. But for others, the effects include anxiety, panic attacks, agitation, hallucinations and seizures, according to the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center.

    Rozga's friends bought the K2 for $45 at an area store. When Rozga smoked it, he "freaked out," his friends told police.

    During an apparent panic attack, Rozga said he was "going to hell," one friend told police. The attack led to a half-hour walk around a local park before Rozga told his friends he was going home to sleep, the police report said.

    Instead, he went home and killed himself.

    "Knowing what we know from reading about (K2), we know he was impaired in his head," Jan Rozga, David's mother, said in an interview with the Des Moines Sunday Register. "In my heart I know my son. He would not have done this."

    David Rozga was a churchgoing boy who loved worshipping with his music, his parents, Mike and Jan, said. He was a good student who was looking forward to attending the University of Northern Iowa in August.

    David loved the Green Bay Packers almost as much as he loved his family, which includes his brother, Daniel, 15, Jan Rozga said. David was popular with his classmates and had many plans for the future.

    David was an "over the top" fan of pro football quarterback Brett Favre. He once told an eighth-grade girlfriend that if they got married, he would name their son or daughter Brett, his parents said.

    While David played the baritone in band, his passion was the guitar, Jan and Mike Rozga said. He owned several guitars and had just received a new one as a present for graduation.

    The mother of a friend of David Rozga's said the teen had spoken of suicide in the past and was depressed. Rozga's parents, though, said they had not seen that side of their son, and his mood swings were typical of most teenagers, they said.

    "If you don't care about life, you don't make plans, you don't work hard," Jan Rozga said. "It just doesn't compute. It does not make sense."

    Both Indianola Police Chief Steve Bonnett and Kendell, Iowa's drug policy coordinator, said they believed K2 was responsible for Rozga's death. "Increasingly within the last month, our office has received concerns," Kendell said in a release put out last week. "While most of these types of products are currently unregulated, in my opinion the effects they reportedly have on users are cause for concern."

    Questions remain about K2's effects

    Research on how K2 and similar products affect the human body is still incomplete. While K2 has been available in Europe for a couple years, it wasn't until recently that it started showing up on U.S. officials' radars.

    Linda Kalin, director of the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center, first heard about K2 through the poison control's information exchange site in February. The warning came from Missouri, where multiple doctors were reporting patients sick from it.

    "At that point, we learned as much as we could," Kalin said.

    In March, the Iowa center received its own call from a hospital where a teenager was complaining of agitation, twitching and an increased heart rate. They also started to receive calls from people inquiring about what K2 was.

    "We're not inundated with calls," Kalin said. "My best guess is we would see an increase."

    Some owners of area stores that carry K2 say they started selling it because of the demand.

    Shag, a novelty store in Des Moines' Southridge Mall, began carrying K2 a few months ago.

    "It is something we brought in because people were asking for it," store manager Robert Welborn said.

    The product is particularly popular with teenagers and college-age youth, Welborn said. He wouldn't say how many people buy it each week, but "people do buy it," he said.

    Welborn said he does not ask why people buy it, but he hopes they intend to use it as incense.

    "We do tell people it's not for human consumption. It is on the labels," Welborn said.

    He added: "We do realize that some people are going to misuse it. ... I don't think we're selling anything wrong. But as you get the more negative stories, then you don't want it to affect the rest of your business."

    Drug policy official targets another plant

    For several years, Kendell has tried to get the Legislature to pass a law banning another product sold as incense.

    The plant, salvia, is part of the mint family and can produce hallucinogenic effects. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has also issued warnings about the substance.

    Kendell has been unsuccessful in getting salvia banned in Iowa during the past four legislative sessions.

    "It's just the fact that we can't show that it's a huge, huge problem. Unfortunately, it takes a tragedy to make something happen," Kendell said.

    State Rep. Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown, sponsored a bill last year that would have criminalized possession of salvia divinorum and salvinorin A, making it a Class C felony to deal the drug and a serious misdemeanor to possess it.

    In 2008, the Iowa House passed a similar bill, but the Senate didn't act on it.

    Smith hasn't given up. If he is re-elected in November, he wants to introduce a bill that would criminalize dealing K2 and salvia. That way, shops wouldn't be able to sell it, but people wouldn't get jail time for possessing it.

    Smith said his passion for the issue was intensified by Rozga's death.

    "Certainly, those kinds of horrible tragedies do tend to spur action on things like this," he said. "We need to see what we can do to get these substances away from the citizens of Iowa."

    Rozga's parents agree. They plan to do whatever it takes to make sure the bill gets passed into law.

    "Our goal is to get this off the streets because we don't want this to happen to another family," Mike Rozga said.

    Added Jan Rozga: "It's such a waste for such a beautiful boy who just had his whole life" ahead of him. "This will be a way for us to honor him."Rozga's death prompted the director of the Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy to issue a statewide warning last week about K2, also known as Spice. Gary Kendell also said he would seek a ban on the substance when the Iowa Legislature convenes in January.

    K2 can be more dangerous than marijuana, Kendell said. "It causes hallucinations. That doesn't happen with marijuana."



    Substance prohibited in some countries

    K2 is banned in some countries, including Sweden, Switzerland, South Korea, Chile, Germany and France, according to the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

    In the United States, the governors of Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky and Tennessee have signed bills outlawing K2, although not all the laws have gone into effect yet. The Missouri legislature also passed a ban that will take effect unless the governor vetoes it before July 14.

    Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey and New York are considering bills outlawing K2, according to USA Today.

    The substance showed up in central Iowa about two months ago, Kendell said. It can be found at smoke shops, novelty stores and other places that sell incense.

    The label on K2 packaging identifies its dried, olive-colored contents as a variety of herbal plants. A warning states the product is not for human consumption, but it does not warn purchasers that the material also contains various synthetic compounds that appear to stimulate the same areas of the brain as marijuana.

    The result for some is a mellow, marijuana-like high when smoked. But for others, the effects include anxiety, panic attacks, agitation, hallucinations and seizures, according to the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center.

    Rozga's friends bought the K2 for $45 at an area store. When Rozga smoked it, he "freaked out," his friends told police.

    During an apparent panic attack, Rozga said he was "going to hell," one friend told police. The attack led to a half-hour walk around a local park before Rozga told his friends he was going home to sleep, the police report said.

    Instead, he went home and killed himself.

    "Knowing what we know from reading about (K2), we know he was impaired in his head," Jan Rozga, David's mother, said in an interview with the Des Moines Sunday Register. "In my heart I know my son. He would not have done this."

    David Rozga was a churchgoing boy who loved worshipping with his music, his parents, Mike and Jan, said. He was a good student who was looking forward to attending the University of Northern Iowa in August.

    David loved the Green Bay Packers almost as much as he loved his family, which includes his brother, Daniel, 15, Jan Rozga said. David was popular with his classmates and had many plans for the future.

    David was an "over the top" fan of pro football quarterback Brett Favre. He once told an eighth-grade girlfriend that if they got married, he would name their son or daughter Brett, his parents said.

    While David played the baritone in band, his passion was the guitar, Jan and Mike Rozga said. He owned several guitars and had just received a new one as a present for graduation.

    The mother of a friend of David Rozga's said the teen had spoken of suicide in the past and was depressed. Rozga's parents, though, said they had not seen that side of their son, and his mood swings were typical of most teenagers, they said.

    "If you don't care about life, you don't make plans, you don't work hard," Jan Rozga said. "It just doesn't compute. It does not make sense."

    Both Indianola Police Chief Steve Bonnett and Kendell, Iowa's drug policy coordinator, said they believed K2 was responsible for Rozga's death. "Increasingly within the last month, our office has received concerns," Kendell said in a release put out last week. "While most of these types of products are currently unregulated, in my opinion the effects they reportedly have on users are cause for concern."

    Questions remain about K2's effects

    Research on how K2 and similar products affect the human body is still incomplete. While K2 has been available in Europe for a couple years, it wasn't until recently that it started showing up on U.S. officials' radars.

    Linda Kalin, director of the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center, first heard about K2 through the poison control's information exchange site in February. The warning came from Missouri, where multiple doctors were reporting patients sick from it.

    "At that point, we learned as much as we could," Kalin said.

    In March, the Iowa center received its own call from a hospital where a teenager was complaining of agitation, twitching and an increased heart rate. They also started to receive calls from people inquiring about what K2 was.

    "We're not inundated with calls," Kalin said. "My best guess is we would see an increase."

    Some owners of area stores that carry K2 say they started selling it because of the demand.

    Shag, a novelty store in Des Moines' Southridge Mall, began carrying K2 a few months ago.

    "It is something we brought in because people were asking for it," store manager Robert Welborn said.

    The product is particularly popular with teenagers and college-age youth, Welborn said. He wouldn't say how many people buy it each week, but "people do buy it," he said.

    Welborn said he does not ask why people buy it, but he hopes they intend to use it as incense.

    "We do tell people it's not for human consumption. It is on the labels," Welborn said.

    He added: "We do realize that some people are going to misuse it. ... I don't think we're selling anything wrong. But as you get the more negative stories, then you don't want it to affect the rest of your business."

    Drug policy official targets another plant

    For several years, Kendell has tried to get the Legislature to pass a law banning another product sold as incense.

    The plant, salvia, is part of the mint family and can produce hallucinogenic effects. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has also issued warnings about the substance.

    Kendell has been unsuccessful in getting salvia banned in Iowa during the past four legislative sessions.

    "It's just the fact that we can't show that it's a huge, huge problem. Unfortunately, it takes a tragedy to make something happen," Kendell said.

    State Rep. Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown, sponsored a bill last year that would have criminalized possession of salvia divinorum and salvinorin A, making it a Class C felony to deal the drug and a serious misdemeanor to possess it.

    In 2008, the Iowa House passed a similar bill, but the Senate didn't act on it.

    Smith hasn't given up. If he is re-elected in November, he wants to introduce a bill that would criminalize dealing K2 and salvia. That way, shops wouldn't be able to sell it, but people wouldn't get jail time for possessing it.

    Smith said his passion for the issue was intensified by Rozga's death.

    "Certainly, those kinds of horrible tragedies do tend to spur action on things like this," he said. "We need to see what we can do to get these substances away from the citizens of Iowa."

    Rozga's parents agree. They plan to do whatever it takes to make sure the bill gets passed into law.

    "Our goal is to get this off the streets because we don't want this to happen to another family," Mike Rozga said.

    Added Jan Rozga: "It's such a waste for such a beautiful boy who just had his whole life" ahead of him. "This will be a way for us to honor him."

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    #2
    So some comments,

    Tragedies happen all the time. Young people have their lives ruined by drunk drivers or drivers who operate their death machines whilst distracted by their cancer sticks. When will the legislature put their foot down and ban these dangerous substances? Not only are cancer sticks (what cancer-industry collaborators and sympathizers like to call "cigarettes") deadly in their own right they post a nasty distraction hazard. People are getting high by smoking these things - often with children in nearby - which are known to give off carcinogens. Then there's the number of families that are town apart as a result from careless drunks that get behind the wheel of a car and turn a quiet country road into a carnage fest. How many people must die - how many tragedies must we as a society endure before the fat cats in the Des Moines legislature ban them?

    (Too snarky?)
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    #3
    Bluelighter psychomimetic's Avatar
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    ^How would banning them help? They should be legal and regulated and people should be educated (when I say "they", I refer to all drugs) about them. Prohibition doesn't decrease drug use, it just makes drug use more dangerous. If marijuana was legal a lot less people would use synthetic cannibinoids.

    It's interesting that the article doesn't place any blame on religion and it seems to dismiss the possibility of mental illness. Also, K2 and Spice are different things, although I'm sure they're sometimes the same in terms of which synthetic cannibinoids are in them.
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    Bluelighter Sega420's Avatar
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    the synthetic cannabinoid blend "k2" did not kill this boy.

    poor education, gun regulations, innacurate biased drug education and ultimately a BULLET killed this boy.

    yet again another group of idiots trying to create some connection between a drug and death.
    i mean seriously, when will the stupidity end?
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    #5
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    A mental illness seems likely. Marijuana should be legal to stop crap like this from happening.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sega420 View Post
    the synthetic cannabinoid blend "k2" did not kill this boy.

    poor education, gun regulations, innacurate biased drug education and ultimately a BULLET killed this boy.

    yet again another group of idiots trying to create some connection between a drug and death.
    i mean seriously, when will the stupidity end?
    There seems to always be a sensationalized suicide case whenever the media finds out about a lesser known psychoactive. There was a really similar story a few years ago when some kid shot himself because he was 'addicted to salvia', which spearheaded an anti-salvia movement.

    The thing is that the propaganda is quite effective. People who have absolutely no prior knowledge concerning drugs in general eat it up and blindly join the cause.

    Rediculous
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmella Boyle View Post

    The label on K2 packaging identifies its dried, olive-colored contents as a variety of herbal plants. A warning states the product is not for human consumption, but it does not warn purchasers that the material also contains various synthetic compounds that appear to stimulate the same areas of the brain as marijuana.
    But yet if it did say that it appeared to stimulate the same areas of the brain as marijuana they would complain about that. It already states not for human consumption, what more do they want
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    "It's just the fact that we can't show that it's a huge, huge problem. Unfortunately, it takes a tragedy to make something happen," Kendell said.
    ~Speaking about salvia.



    So you KNOW that it generally isn't dangerous and it isn't causing a problem... So why are you trying to ban it? It seems to me that almost every gorvernment just likes to ban ANYTHING that gets you high in any way whatsoever. Even if there is no evidence it is dangerous. I really don't understand this...
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    Bluelighter weekend addiction's Avatar
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    I love how the article says "drug war attacks another plant." can someone find me a picture of a K2 plant?


    Quote Originally Posted by caseface99 View Post
    It seems to me that almost every gorvernment just likes to ban ANYTHING that gets you high in any way whatsoever. Even if there is no evidence it is dangerous.
    This is nothing new its called the war on drugs. They don't do test to see the harm of something. If its an enjoyable chemical then they want you to get a script.
    Last edited by weekend addiction; 22-06-2010 at 00:33.
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    I wonder if this would have happened if the church's stance on drugs was different. The church regards drug use as sorcery, since the word "pharmakeia" equates to witchcraft. Well, if that is the case, what about pharmacies and pharmaceutical drugs? Sorcery may involve drug use, but it involves other practices as well. Medicine involves drug use but not witchcraft. Furthermore, there is no admonishment about receiving hellfire because of drug use to be found anywhere in the bible. If you can find one, I'd like to hear it.

    Why did Rozga think he was going to Hell? I have an idea.
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    #11
    Medicine uses the sorcery called Science by its adherents.
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    drug use doesn't involve sorcery any more than pharmaceuticals..^

    And yeah i know that the war on drugs is nothing new, i should have worded that differently. I was just commenting on how retardedly obvious it is basically, lending to the illegitimacy of the drug war.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sega420 View Post
    the synthetic cannabinoid blend "k2" did not kill this boy.

    poor education, gun regulations, innacurate biased drug education and ultimately a BULLET killed this boy.

    yet again another group of idiots trying to create some connection between a drug and death.
    i mean seriously, when will the stupidity end?
    my sentiments exactly
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    #14
    k2 Being Attacked on All Sides
    http://dopegamenews.co.uk/?p=1184
    The mass media is playing the game we all predicted.

    Media outlets around the United States are starting to run negative stories about k2 and other spice products this week.

    They are blaming JWH-018 for innocent deaths of youth. The latest story being one out of Iowa. DesMoinesRegister.com is saying k2 caused an 18 year old to kill himself.

    Fake Facebook accounts have been sending propagated messages to users with messages like “This made my friends son kill himself, call your congressman to make it illegal”.

    It is amazing that people are blaming a drug for this kids death.

    He died from a shot gun wound. K2 pulled the trigger?

    To hell with the spread of ignorance and fear. It's terrorism!
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    #15
    So it's totally out of the realm for this drug[or whatever it is]k2 to have had any part in this boy's death??I mean is there any research or facts about it?? May be the boy was unbalanced ?? the k2 was the tipping point?? It is a known halllucinogen, isn't it?? It just seems like a lot of BS is spouted sometimes, as is the usual with the internet......And I am a massive skeptic......Facts,facts, where are the facts????peace
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    Bluelighter egor's Avatar
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    Anyone else notice the startling parallels between this and the Chidester family's crusade to make salvia illegal when he killed himself after smoking it?

    Deja' vu all over again...
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    #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bardo5 View Post
    There seems to always be a sensationalized suicide case whenever the media finds out about a lesser known psychoactive. There was a really similar story a few years ago when some kid shot himself because he was 'addicted to salvia', which spearheaded an anti-salvia movement.

    The thing is that the propaganda is quite effective. People who have absolutely no prior knowledge concerning drugs in general eat it up and blindly join the cause.

    Rediculous
    i feel they should be legally told "stay out of it you dont know what you're talking about" and have no right to a say on the matter unless they complete a drug education course, made by BL members.
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    #18
    Bluelighter LSDMDMA&AMP's Avatar
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    yep. drugs dont make you commit suicide, you do that. Mustve been weak minded too. ive wanted to go batshit insane on speed after being up 2-3 days but ive resisted the urge..
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    Sad to hear about the tragedy, but the article's (and parents') take on it is really silly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carmella Boyle View Post
    "Knowing what we know from reading about (K2), we know he was impaired in his head," Jan Rozga, David's mother, said in an interview with the Des Moines Sunday Register. "In my heart I know my son. He would not have done this."

    David Rozga was a churchgoing boy who loved worshipping with his music, his parents, Mike and Jan, said.
    The fact that he was a "churchgoing boy" was where he got the idea about going to hell. Who do you think taught it to him? It wasn't the K2, for certain. It was the priest, and the parents.

    And WTF? Your research has led you to the conclusion that he was "impaired in his head"? Very lofty. Very educated. Very meaningless.


    Quote Originally Posted by Carmella Boyle View Post

    K2 can be more dangerous than marijuana, Kendell said. "It causes hallucinations. That doesn't happen with marijuana."
    Obviously the words of an expert
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    #20
    Any update on whether or not he ended up in hell?
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    #21
    Bluelighter LSDMDMA&AMP's Avatar
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    what if he was molested at church, causing him to go insane?
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