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

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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.


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  • Unslaved

    Cannabis prohibition is a major boon to the police state so of course the news media is going to try to convince you to keep it illegal. News media ratings depend on keeping us in fear of each other and the drug war is one way they do that.

    • Kevin Rahe

      Unlike alcohol, there is no legitimate use of marijuana (outside of controlled medicinal uses), which is why it is illegal.

          • Unslaved

            By that standard, you should be vehemently opposed to coffee. It’s a substance that alters consciousness and is widely consumed directly for the purpose of altering consciousness.

          • Ry

            You’ve got to be kidding me. Alcohol is so much more harmful to society and dangerous to one’s health. 80K people die to alcohol related disease (not counting drunk drivers), and many torn families from alcoholism.

          • Kevin Rahe

            RY, so you are a fan of Prohibition. I am not.
            UNSLAVED, I think it’s a stretch to equate getting drunk with being just a little more alert and awake than one would be otherwise.

          • Kevin Rahe

            Except that you haven’t. Unless you can show that I’m willing to accept minimal effects on one’s body from one substance but not from another?

    • Marc

      Prohibition created the American Mafia. It only enhances the black market. Had marijuana not been prohibited in the first place to easily prosecute Mexicans, and to allow the Hearst family (yes Patty Hearst) to convert from hemp based paper to wood based paper and build their Empire, most likely dabing would never have become a thing, people would just grow at home and there would never have been an industry. Much like people produced their own alcohol prior to prohibition and there was no alcohol industry to speak of.


  • Iamct01

    Well that’s weird dab don’t make me tired like flower weed because of the lack of CBD. Sounds more like he was “nodding out” aka pills.

  • J.B.

    “This form of dabbing is more dangerous because you have to use a butane lighter to light the THC”
    Sooo…the “butane lighter” used to “light” the THC is the threat here?
    Flicking your Bic…the new kid killer.
    Prob the stupidest thing i will hear all day…but you never know its early still..

    • Ry

      Dabbing is like the marijuana equivalent of chugging a bottle of Vodka. It’s not the norm. You can overdo ANYTHING. Even caffeine.

    • Baby Boomers Suck

      He died because he drove under the influence. Had he obeyed the law and not driven, he would still be alive.

      • Jordan V

        I don’t even smoke or do dabs and completely agree. Like driving drunk don’t be stupid. He most likely would’ve been fine if he hadn’t. I have no problem with legalized marijuana but don’t condone it while driving same as alcohol. Still my condolences to the father and family people make mistakes it’s human nature.

  • Taylor Berg

    As an advocate for legalizing marijuana you people commenting need to educate yourself . Yes dabs are done with a butane torch not a lighter stop picking at words. You are inhaling the butane too its knocked me out and I’m a grown man. This is not the news trying to keep it illegal marijuana is not good to injest just like alcohol it alters the m ins of everyone differently cannabinoid receptors in the brain are different and for kids it is extremely dangerous not only for the initial reaction but for the development of the brain so all of you commenting saying its pills etc. It could have been but it probably wasn’t as marijuana gets closer to becoming more legal it is absolutley a must that the parents and kids are educated so something like this doesnt happen again

    • J.B.

      “You are inhaling the butane too its knocked me out and I’m a grown man”
      Just not a very smart one it appears…just hold your breath..its cheaper.

      • Taylor Berg

        Lol you do inhale the fumes from the torch on a rig…. educate yourself before you comment. I dont d dabs because it knocks me out… like I said every person reacts differently this isn’t a dab pen we are talking about
        .. idk why I’m commenting just go do some research

        • J.B.

          Lol…sorry to be so rough sounding….
          But i dont care what your smoking..if it is causing you to have a mini stroke because of lack of oxygen to your brain…
          You are definitely doing it wrong.
          use a quartz or titanium nail…smoke it under a glass….etc
          lots of ways of doing it besides huffing on torch fumes till you pass out.
          Trust me….

          • Taylor Berg

            …. dude I didnt pass out from the torch itself just from the potency of the THC…. I was simply saying you still inhale some of the butane if you dont know what you’re doing

      • Taylor Berg

        I guess I didn’t explain well enough done improperly you still inhale fumes from the butane I am very aware how to properly use a rig if yall wanna pick at my wording I dont care my point was that we do need to educate people and kids especially so that it can become legal

      • Taylor Berg

        Ur a troll with no life that likes to attempt to make people angry it’s not working… I’m sorry you’re so alone that you dont even have a real human in your life to pick on I know you’ll reply with something just as immature as you’re first comment but I Just thought I’d let you know that no one cares what you say

  • Anthony

    Kids Can’t handle lighters… But they can drive. Lol cannabis isn’t the culprit. The kid shouldn’t of been driving.

  • jeffinbville (@JeffInBville)

    I’m not sure what this article is actually about. Is is about dabbing or is it about some kid who should have known better and intentionally got behind the steering wheel of a car when he was altered and now his family are crying victim?

  • Kdawg

    Dabbling didn’t kill the kid, getting behind the wheel of a car under the influence and driving is what killed him. Don’t blame the dab, blame the driver!! My condolences to the family…

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