Officials with the Birmingham Bloomfield Community Coalition confirmed Thursday that the will be dedicated to Oliver Smith, the 18-year-old who died last month in an apparent overdose tied to K-2 or Spice.
Carol Mastroianni, the BBCC's executive director, also said that participants at the annual event in Birmingham's Shain Park will spend 18 seconds in silence to mark each year of his life. The decision was finalized Wednesday by the organization's Youth Action Board, which is comprised of teens from area public and private schools who volunteer their time to help prevent underage substance use and abuse.
"Our Youth Action Board team felt very strongly about doing this because this has really impacted everyone in the community," she said. "We want to honor a special person."
Smith's body was discovered on May 26, and Bloomfield Township police said the graduate died of an apparent overdose of synthetic marijuana — commonly referred to as K-2 or Spice. His death sparked a that are seeking to ban the substances, which are currently sold legally in area gas stations and specialty shops.
The fact is, it can kill you the first time you try it," Youth Action Board members wrote in a letter announcing their decision. "It should not be experimented with under any circumstances. Please, think about how a careless decision with any drug could impact your entire life ... and keep your goals, dreams, and loved ones in mind."