Emily Bauer, a 16-year-old girl, suffered severe brain damage after she smoked “Kush,” a synthetic marijuana product sold under the name “potpourri” by corner stores and gas stations in many states. According to a CNN report, synthetic marijuana is unregulated and its manufacturers are constantly changing the chemical in the compound to find a loophole and a way to sell the products each time it is outlawed. Just within 15 minutes of smoking Kush, Emily told her boyfriend she had a migraine and was going to lie down. She then suffered strokes, which put her in a psychotic state where she proceeded to “urinate on herself, run into walls, speak gibberish, hallucinate and act violent.”

Catastrophic Injuries

Doctors had to put the girl into an induced coma. Over the next few days, doctors did tests on Emily’s brain and found that she had strokes and that it had caused parts of her brain to permanently shut down. With no other way to go, her family consented to a complicated brain surgery to try and save their daughter. During this procedure, surgeons drilled a hole into her skull and inserted a tube to drain fluid from her skull. Emily survived, but doctors have said that she will never be her old self again and that her brain was permanently damaged.

The Need for New Laws and Public Awareness

Her family members and friends have launched a campaign to create public awareness about this so-called “legal weed,” which is commonly sold in common stores. The charity that Emily’s mother has started is called S.A.F.E. (Synthetic Awareness For Emily). States such as California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have outlawed synthetic marijuana, but it is still legal in many other states.

It is appalling that manufacturers of these dangerous and defective products continue to sell them to make a quick buck without thinking about the catastrophic consequences they can have on consumers. In this case, a young girl with her whole life ahead of her was reduced to a vegetative state and suffered irreversible brain damage because she decided to try something that was perfectly legal. It is important that synthetic marijuana is outlawed in all states. I applaud Emily Bauer’s family members for starting their charity with the intention of preventing such a tragedy from striking another family.