Logan Kushner: Vigil Tonight, K2 'Likely Played Role' in Clearwater Drowning

on January 09 2012 12:02 PM
Logan Kushner: K2 'Likely Played Role' in Clearwater Drowning
A candlelight vigil for 19-year Logan Kushner, who drowned after smoking a synthetic drug called K2, will be held tonight at Kapok Park. K2 was banned in Florida last year, but a legal loophole means synthetic marijuana is still sold at drugstores across the state, including the Clearwater, Fla. store where Kushner and a friend bought the drug early Sunday morning. Facebook/Logan Kushner Candle

A vigil is planned tonight for Logan Matthew Kushner, 19, who died early Sunday in an apparent drowning after smoking a synthetic marijuana drug called K2.

Logan Kushner, of Safety Harbor, Fla., was found in a creek in Kapok Park. Clearwater Police say he and a friend bought a version of K2 called Jazzed at an area gas station shortly before Kushner's death.

'His friend left him in the park.'

The friend, who has not been identified by police, says they were smoking K2 by the creek around 2:30am EST when Kushner started acting strange and jumped into the water.

The friend claims he tried to get Kushner to leave with him because it was past curfew, but although he managed to get him out of the water, the friend could not convince Kushner to leave the park with him.

His friend left him at the park, and tried to call him when he got back home, the official police report read.

When he couldn't reach him, he called other friends that live near the park to go and check on the victim... they found him unresponsive in the water.

Why is K2 Still Legal?

While it's still unclear how large a role K2 played in the Logan Kushner drowning, physician's assistant Kent Brown told ABC news the synthetic drug is meant to be used for incense, not consumption.

The side effects of K-2 are the most dangerous aspect, Brown said.

[K2] likely played a role, agreed Joelle Castelli, a spokesperson for the city of Clearwater. According to the witness, it was a significant impact after he was smoking it, and he started acting erratic sometimes it brings on psychosis, she told Fox.

Though K2 and similar drugs are synthetics, called fake weed, their use as incense often means they are much more powerful than straight marijuana, according to Drug Enforcement.

Florida legislators voted to ban K2 last July, but its use has actually increased over the past year, due to a loophole that allowed manufacturers to sell the synthetic drug with a slightly altered formula.

'I just couldn't believe it.'

Logan Kushner's friends will hold a candlelight vigil for him in Kapok Park at 8:00pm tonight.

The vigil, which a Facebook page dubbed the Logan Kushner Candle Light Special, is open to the public. The park is located at 2950 Glen Oka Ave. North, Clearwater, Fla.

About a dozen candles were lit at a memorial in the park last night as well.

Friends of Kushner's, including his teammates from the Palm Harbor University High School football team, plan to come back tonight to pay their respects. Kushner was a graduate of the IB program at Palm Harbor University High School and just completed his first semester of college at Stetson University.

No matter how many times I read he was pronounced dead, I just couldn't believe it, friend Brian Vu said. It was Logan Kushner, the kid we all thought was going to go far and do so many crazy things... I don't know a single person that knew his name that didn't like him.

According to Tampa Bay Online, teammates and loved ones have already written messages on the makeshift memorial.

You were a brother to me, a teammate wrote. I will never forget you, said another.

'Logan was one of a kind.'

Sharee Booze was one of Kushner's best friends. She'd known him since the fifth grade.

Logan was one of a kind, Booze said. Everybody knew him to be this funny guy. [But] he also would be serious. He was always that type of person that would be there for you when they needed you and he didn't deserve to go like this.

Andrea Weaver, one of Kushner's teachers, said she remembered there was a female classmate who had trouble walking. Every day, Kushner would help guide her into the classroom.

Police have not officially confirmed that K2 caused Logan Kushner to drown. A toxicology report has yet to be completed.

Still, Booze knows what lesson she's taking from the tragedy.

Don't do drugs. Don't drink alcohol, Booze said. You have your whole life ahead of you, and doing such a senseless act makes no sense right now.

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