Marijuana Keeps Psychiatric Hospitals in Colorado Busy
(Excerpts edited from a letter written by a Colorado resident to the state’s marijuana regulatory board. If you are a Colorado resident with a similar story, please write firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you into a group of parents who are dealing with similar, urgent problems.)
When Colorado’s Amendment 64 passed, my son and his friends celebrated it. They wrote 4/20 all over their bodies and clothes. He was only 12, and now he’s 15. I was familiar with the problems with smoking marijuana and educated my son about it. However I was not prepared to deal with a near-death experience due to him smoking marijuana.
My husband and I were not aware that my son started smoking marijuana and eating THC-laced edibles when he was in 8th grade. He had his first suicide attempt in January 2014 over a break up with a girl. My husband and I thought he was just broken-hearted. He started spiraling down a dark path of mental illness. I observed irrational behaviors, not being motivated to work, not wanting to go to school or activities, he was angry often, and he was verbally abusive.
During the last week of February of 2015, my son’s behaviors became worse. It was his freshman year. (Later we found out he was withdrawing from marijuana). He was extremely emotional, irrational, not showing up for baseball practice, and skipping school. He was angry a lot, and physically lashing out towards me and my younger son. He started disrespecting the police, and we found out later that he was hanging out with gang members. Nothing my husband and I did could calm him down or reassure him that everything was ok.
He decided to kill himself and took massive amounts of ibuprofen. Thank god he threw up in his sleep that night and the next day we realized what he had done. He was hospitalized for five days to an adolescent psychiatric unit.
After he was discharged, he went back to using marijuana. He came home high out of his mind 5 days after he was discharged. His behaviors were abusive and irrational so I took him back to the hospital emergency room, where he tested positive for marijuana. The psychiatric technician’s comments to us where, “Oh, it’s only marijuana.” I lost all credibility with my son at that point. He said to me “See mom, you’re so stupid, you’re the only one who thinks pot is harmful, everyone is smoking it.” The psych tech discharged us and told us to return if needed, I never spoke to a doctor that night. . A few days later I took my son back to the same emergency medical center because he started to say he was going to kill himself. He was hospitalized for another 5 days in the different adolescence psychiatric unit, where he received sub-standard care.
Under the advice of my friend, I then volunteered my family for crisis intervention with Department of Social Services. We had a therapist working with the whole family inside the home. At first, my son seemed to be doing better and we were all hopeful that he would improve but then we started seeing the same irrational behaviors. It progressed until one weekend when he became very violent. He was unable to sleep or eat, he was restless and couldn’t stay in one place.
He admitted to us that weekend that he thought he was smoking just marijuana but found out it was laced with meth. He was so out of control, we had the police take him to the emergency room, where he tested positive for meth. We were unable to receive any help that day from the medical community or DSS. They discharged him and didn’t even have the police ticket him. He became worse after that. He was violent, irrational, he started running away everyday for the next few weeks. He got into physical fights, and was not attending school.
He is now in residential treatment program in Denver. My son tells me that the other kids at the treatment center think marijuana is harmless, too. We hope we will be discharged soon; he has been sober for the past 3 months. We are scared to bring him home, but we desperately miss him and look forward to the day when we can have our drug-free son back.
The pot industry wants everyone to think that marijuana is a natural cure for most medical conditions and that it is not addictive. They also claim that marijuana is not a gateway drug. The truth is that drugs lead to more drugs. The pot industry knows that most people are unaware of the harmful effects of marijuana and they have flooded our state and country with propaganda, and misleading information.
The pot industry’s principals are glorified drug dealers who are laughing all the way to the bank. They are pharmacists without the degree. How would you like it if the Walgreen pharmacies started selling OxyContin in gummy bears?
Some members of the medical community are either ignorant or pretend ignorance of the correlation between marijuana and mental illness and suicide. It is irresponsible of the state of Colorado to increase accessibility of marijuana without the education and the truth of marijuana. When I asked my son’s high school if they have an education program about marijuana, the answer was no. The accessibility Needs to DECREASE. Think about it, we have more pot stores than Stabucks and McDonalds combined in Denver, and every household can grow their own pot. This doesn’t decrease accessibility; it increases it.
When you have a child on drugs, you feel like you are slowing watching them die. The physical pain myself and my family have gone through and are still going through is uncalled for and is preventable.
What are you going to do about the youth of our state? Is the money worth it? Are you one of the people that will give in? There are more details to my story that I would be happy to share. I am debating whether to take legal action so I can bring more awareness and education. Also I am happy to share any studies and evidence.
Colorado Needs to Close Down Pot Shops
The state of Colorado does not need any more pot shops and they should get rid of the ones they already have. The teachers need to be able to teach and actually have an educational environment instead of dealing with drugs, inattentive students and bad behaviors. We need healthy citizens that contribute positively to our state, who can work and pass the drug tests.
The state of Colorado passed the law to make marijuana legal without even putting in place the education required to the schools, medical communities, and families. The accessibility of marijuana including the edibles has drastically increased.
The black market has increased. The drug dealers are taking advantage of the fact the youth think it is harmless to smoke marijuana. They get them hooked on the marijuana then they lace it with meth or other harmful drugs.
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