Parents sue alleged maker of synthetic marijuana - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Parents sue alleged maker of synthetic marijuana

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The parents of a teenager who died after taking synthetic marijuana are suing the drug's makers.

Chase Burnett, 16, was a honors student and high school soccer player. The state medical examiner says his death last March in Fayette County was caused by the smoking of synthetic marijuana.

A lawsuit filed this week says his parents found a package of a potpourri called Mojo Diamond Extreme near his body.

The suit claims that the Georgia manufacturer knew that minors smoke the product, a form of synthetic marijuana, to get high.

Chase Burnett's father, David, is the first parent to sue an alleged maker of synthetic marijuana, which is also known as Spice.

"He would want me to do what's right, which is to make a stance, speak out, educate people and to get this poison off store shelves," said David Burnett.

The lawsuit names Peyton Palaio of Cobb County and what it says are his businesses Omerta Labs, WG distribution and Lunar Labs.

FOX 5 found Palaio on Facebook, where he lists his occupation as principal chemist of Omerta Labs.

"This is another weapon to go against them.  And it is easier than a criminal case and it hits them where it really hurts and that's in their wallets," said Burnett's attorney, Kristofer Schleicher.

The state of Georgia has waged war on synthetic marijuana with a law named after Chase Burnett.  But since its passage earlier this year, the GBI discovered that Spice manufacturers had found a new ways to make and sell the product that bypassed the law.  A second crackdown is underway.

In a GBI search warrant of Palaio's Marietta business dated July 5th, 2012, an agent said he found materials that later tests revealed were AM-2201. That's the same chemical the lawsuit says was used in the Mojo Diamond smoked by Chase Burnett.

A lawyer for Peyton Palaio in a statement to Fox 5 said:

"The defendants express their sincere condolences to the Burnett family for this tragic loss.  However, Mojo Diamond Extreme 100 X is not the defendant's product.  Mojo Diamond Extreme 100 X is not sold, manufactured or distributed by these defendants.  Any statements or allegation to the contrary are incorrect."

"I will tell you that the pain and suffering that we feel on a daily basis is real.  Although we have faith and our faith is intact and will never waiver, we still feel the physical pain of losing somebody that you absolutely adore and love.  And it is real," said Burnett.

Right now there is a temporary ban on all known chemicals used to make and sell synthetic marijuana is Georgia.

The legislature will try once again to fashion a permanent law that keeps it off store shelves. 

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