Father warns parents about marijuana dabbing after teen son’s death

Posted at 5:49 AM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-11 05:50:57-04

LUDINGTON, Mich. -- This heartbreaking story starts with a Snapchat video of a teen passing out after smoking a potent form of marijuana shortly before waking up and getting behind the wheel. It was homecoming night when an officer knocked on Gordon MacDougall's door and told him his son had been in a bad crash.

Police say Henry, MacDougall's son, passed out a second time while driving, never hit the brakes and drove into the path of a semi on U.S 31 in Mason County.

Teens may be learning a different form of dabbing that is spreading on social media. Unlike the hand motion football player, Cam Newton made famous, dabbing is also a way of inhaling potent THC.

This form of dabbing is more dangerous because you have to use a butane lighter to light the THC, says Lisa Lowery at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. "You're getting young people dealing with chemicals that can cause explosions. They can burn themselves," Lowery said.

"It's very potent; it can knock a 250-pound man, out so it's no surprise it knocked my son out," MacDougall said.

This different form of dab contains more THC than traditional plant marijuana.

"We already know the effects of THC on the adolescent brain," Lowery said. "It’s more impactful: psychosis, dependency, paranoia all of those things."

Lowery says there are warning signs, such as changes in friends, changes in behavior, changes in sleep patterns.  "If you're seeing any odd things in the house: why does your child have a butane lighter? Do they really need it? Some of those things we should be aware of. Just be mindful of what's going on," Lowery said.