CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - A 43-year-old man addicted to synthetic marijuana got results he never saw coming -- a free trip to rehab valued around $60,000.
Richie Sanborn was arrested for D.W.I. -- passed out behind the wheel of his truck while in the middle of smoking a blunt of "Brain Freeze" (a popular brand of synthetic marijuana). The arrest happened back in September in Bessemer City -- just a few blocks away from the store he said he bought the drug from -- Johnny's E Cigs.
FOX 46 Charlotte reached out to Sanborn for his side of the story. He agreed, under one condition -- he wanted to get high by smoking synthetic marijuana while on camera, to show viewers the side effects.
The effects were immediate -- slurred speech while barely able to stand up straight. FOX 46 Charlotte took the video to a group of drug experts at The Blanchard Institute. The group saw a cry for help and was taken back by Sanborn's bold move -- getting high, illegally and publicly, to warn viewers.
The Blanchard Institute took action -- setting Sanborn up with what they call the best drug detox center in the country, Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, Fla.
Sanborn was brought to tears by the gesture and has been at the facility since mid-September. He will be there for 6-9 weeks and FOX 46 Charlotte will monitor his progress.
"Like I told [David Sentendrey] when I did the interview, I didn't want my face blurred," Sanborn said. "I was wanting the world to know this is me and this is what it does to you and this is what it does to your family.
"I'm ready. I'm ready to start this right now, get sober. I'm just sick and tired of being sick and tired."