Two Sultan teens hospitalized in one week after smoking 'Spice'

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by JOHN LANGELER / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @jlangelerKING5

KING5.com

Posted on May 15, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Updated Thursday, May 15 at 10:12 PM

SULTAN -- Two Sultan teenagers were hospitalized last week after negative reactions to smoking Spice, a synthetic marijuana illegal in Washington but commonly available as insense at many smoke shops.

Both teens were at Sultan's City Hall, fire officials said, and were taken to Valley General Hospital in Monroe.

Thursday, Colby Taft was back at city hall as he serves a suspension from Sultan High for having marijuana on campus.  Taft was hospitalized after smoking Spice May 6th.

"I started having this out of body experience," recalled Taft, "I can't even really explain it."

Taft and his mother said he was seizing so badly he was punching walls and hitting his head on the ground violently.

He had to be recusitated by paramedics.

"In the hospital, I died again," said Taft, "I kind of went into a coma state."

Two days later, Taft said saw his friend have the same experience in the same place, city hall.

"It's not a good thing for your body.  It's about as bad as meth," said Taft.

The situation came up at a city council meeting last week.  It impacted Mayor Carolyn Eslick so much she decided to try and buy Spice herself, to see how easy and concerning it is.  The shop she went to denied it had the substance, she told KING 5.

Sultan High School has tried to be proactive about helping students using drugs.  At the beginning of the year, a higher-than-usual number of students admitted in a survey they had taken drugs, according to the district superintendent Dan Chaplik.

That led to increased presence of School Resource Officers, counseling and after school programs.  A drug K-9 will be going through the campus before the school year is over, Chaplik said.

Meanwhile, Taft still hopes to graduate, despite his suspension.  He returns to school on Tuesday.

"Don't do Spice," he said, "Spice is bad."

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