Middletown, Ind. — A mother of two is dead after using a synthetic-marijuana laced incense known as "Spice."
Now her friends and family want the drug outlawed since more and more people appear to be dying from it.
"Yesterday I lost one of the most important people in my life," says Heather Hogan, blinking back tears, still trying to make sense of a life taken so suddenly.
"I've never even heard of it," Hogan admits.
28-year-old Lilly Helsley of Middletown died after smoking the drug designed to mimic the effects of marijuana. Hogan's 16-year-old son says this drug is legal and not hard to find.
"You can get it really easily," says Doug Hogan.
Doug, who also happens to be Helsley's godson, says it's sold in tobacco stores, head shops, and often on the streets.
"It's pretty much exactly like marijuana. It can be sold to anybody at any price at any time," he says.
And since it's not regulated by the Federal Drug Administration, the drug is to blame for a growing number of hospital visits. At least eight patients in Marion County have been treated in emergency rooms after smoking spice. And it's believed to be responsible for at least two other deaths in Indiana.
"How many people is it going to have to kill before they'll do anything about it," asks Hogan.
Helsley's friends and family want the drug outlawed and fear if something isn't done soon, more people will wind up like Lilly Helsley -- a woman with a heart of gold, who leaves behind two young children and an entire community that loved her.
"There was not a person that came into this town that she didn't love, that she didn't try and help out in some way."
Rep. John Barnes of Indianapolis plans to introduce legislation in the 2011 General Assembly.
Earlier this year, Kansas became the first state to outlaw Spice. Similar laws are being considered in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Dakota, Tennessee and Utah.