11 News is talking to a local family who is wondering if their grandson smoked a batch of synthetic marijuana or spice that is now part of a federal investigation.
On Wednesday we learned nine suspects have been indicted across the country--three in Colorado--for making and selling the dangerous drug.
We’re told the batch sent more than 220 people to the emergency room in our state, including Colorado Springs, last August and September. One boy even died and that is what launched this investigation.
11 News has been keeping in touch with the family whose grandson almost died from smoking spice.
Nineteen-year-old Joshua Walker was tethered to a hospital bed, in a coma after smoking synthetic marijuana. His grandpa didn't know if he'd ever come out of it.
“He almost died on that,” Kendall Walker explained.
After two weeks in a coma, Joshua woke up. His uncle, Greg Donally, admitted to 11 News he used to deal that very drug but stopped when he saw what it did to Josh.
“I went and saw him in the hospital that day and that day I decided I was never going to do that again."
Donally says Spice is very addictive, it doesn't show up in a drug test and it's easy to get.
“They sell it at the stores. It's the same thing as putting meth on the shelves and saying, 'Hey kids, come and smoke this.'"
Donally says he'll never touch it again.
"It ain't worth it because you're not only hurting yourself, you're hurting the people watching you hurt yourself, and they are with you every bit of the way."
As for Joshua, his grandpa tells 11 News he still has side effects from smoking the drug.