Jimson Weed Dangers

16 year-old Mark Knox
16 year-old Mark Knox
Mark's mother
Mark's mother

A common weed you could find in your back yard could be toxic to your teen. Some teens think that ingesting parts of a plant called Jimson Weed will get them high.

It's a plant that comes in different shapes and sizes. It's easily accessible and cheap for teens to get.  That allure is why teens are falling victim to a toxic plant here in Amarillo that could kill them.

The latest victim is 16 year-old Mark Knox who nearly died last week.  He ingested several seeds from the Jimson weed plant.  An an experience he can barely remember, "I just took a lot of seeds and that's all I can remember. Stuff started moving, my hearing started to fade. Everything went pitch black," Mark said.

Later on in the night he began to have a serious reaction.  His friends and family rushed Mark to the hospital.   His mother Lisa Knox had no idea what was happening to her son.

Holding back the tears Lisa explains, "He was completely hallucinating . He had gone into a seizure and upper respiratory arrest. He has a collapsed lung. He developed pneumonia. I thought he was going to die. I thought I was going to loose him ! really did"!

With family and friends by his side, Mark is pulling through.  He is expected to be out of the hospital Wednesday. Mark will have to go through rehabilitation, costing his families thousands of dollars in medical bills.

Mark and his mother both say this incident has taught them a valuable lesson. "I just don't want to see anyone else go through this ," Mark says from his hospital bed.

For Mark's mother, she wants to warn parents to be careful and aware of what their teen is doing.  "I just want every one to know that this weed is not to be played with. It's dangerous and I nearly lost my son over it and that was are really hard thing for me to accept," Knox said.

Corporal Jerry Neufeld with Amarillo Police department says an incident like this one is a good reminder to everyone about the dangers of drugs.  "Let's  remind folks again let's not smoke or drink things that grow out the alley or eat seeds that we don't know what they are," Cpl. Neufeld said.

Police blame the Internet for spreading the word about this plant. They say Jimson Weed has been in this area for decades.   And like other methods people look for to get high, this weed is just another way people try to get a cheap and easy thrill with out thinking of the consequences.