Teen Who Ate Mom’s Pot Fell Off Balcony; Boy Drowned in Canada
On April 14 in Fort Collins, Colorado, a 19-year-old fell off the 3rd floor balcony after ingesting a marijuana edible his mother had given him. Austin Essig survived the fall, but what about his mom’s judgment?
It is not clear who gave or sold marijuana to Haven Dubois, a 14-year-old boy in Saskatchewan who drowned, but his mother wishes that police had investigated more thoroughly. There were other teens with him, but did the police even try to get the bottom of the issue? “It’s so easy for them to brush it aside. It’s just another dead Indian to them.” Pamela McColl of SAM Canada would like to see those who provide marijuana to teens who suffer harm held accountable, the same way those who give drinks to young people are held responsible for fatal accidents. (McColl is the editor of On Marijuana which contains important essays by international specialists such as Mary Brett of the United Kingdom.)
Clearly many adults are now using pot with the children. In Washington, a group of adults were caught holding a weed party at at Tumwater High School. Tumwater High School is quite close to Providence St. Peter’s Hospital in Olympia, where one to two psychosis patients who have bad reactions to marijuana concentrates seek treatment each day.
In Florida, a couple was arrested for giving their daughters, ages 13 and 14, marijuana and cocaine as gifts for completing their chores. In Texas, a mother threw a beer and weed party for her 12-year old daughter — because she thought her daughter was depressed.
A mother in Maryland who gave marijuana to 13- and 14-year-olds was also giving it to a 6-year-old. (The photo above is of a Centralia, Washington, mother who gave marijuana to her 22-month old son in March, 2013, through a bong. Friends who urged her to do it laughed and then shared the cell phone video. )
Similar stories have surfaced in Oregon, and in the opposite corner of the country, Maine. As long as there’s a push to legalize marijuana and call it “harmless,” “not addictive,” this type of behavior can be expected to increase in frequency.
Failure is More Likely for Teen Pot Users
Haven Dubois drowned and Austin Essig fell from the third floor. Young marijuana users are likely to fall down in other ways, in school and in life. In fact, the Rights of the Child Treaty– with 190 countries signing on, the most ratified of any human rights treaty — specifically states there will be no use of psychotropic drugs in the home. States and countries that allow marijuana are out of compliance with this treaty designed to protect the children.
Teens who regularly use marijuana are seven times more likely to attempt suicide, according to the a report from Lancet Psychiatry Journal. The same report showed that these heavy users are 60% more likely to drop out of high school. Furthermore, a long-term study of more than 1,000 young people tested at intervals between ages ages 13 to 38 in Australia, found those who began regular marijuana use at age 13 experienced a 6-8 point drop in IQ over time, not a good sign for steady employment. (Dr. Madeline Meier recently defended the findings of the Dunedin study while pointing to problems of conflicting studies.)
As marijuana does so much harm to the adolescent brain, it’s hard to understand parents who have no qualms at exposing THC to young brains when they’re most vulnerable. Based on the questionable judgment of many stoner parents, it is logical to assume many of them started using a lot of pot at a young age, when they brains were forming. (For more information, read Marijuana Debunked, by Ed Gogek, MD, and/or On Marijuana, edited by McColl. )
It’s clear that multiple generations of drug addicts are becoming more common in the United States. These early drug users, who learned from their parents, are also more susceptible to alcoholism,
heroin addiction and other drug addiction. Drug addiction problems breed a host of new problems: parents unable to parent, child abuse, child neglect, unemployment, violence, family breakups and homelessness. We will never get a handle on our domestic violence problems unless we educate the next generation about marijuana, alcohol and what the use of drugs really does to the brain.
Today’s liberal tolerance of marijuana also means that babysitters, lifeguards and school bus drivers are more likely to be stoned on their jobs–jobs of responsibility for very young children.
Marijuana activists insist it’s not a gateway drug, but teens who use pot are 3x more likely to use other drugs than non-users, while those who use alcohol and not marijuana are 2x more likely to use other drugs. Only by stopping the drug abuse, and prioritizing education against marijuana and other drugs can we stop this problem. (Part 4 will be the conclusion.)
(Unlike the older children, infants and toddlers are more likely to die of child abuse and neglect arising from caregiver pot use. There have been at least 53 deaths related to parents’ and caregivers’ pot use — since the vote to legalize in 2012. We published a series of 43 deaths of infants and toddlers by fire, drowning, violence, hot cars and other endangerment caused by parents’ marijuana use or habit. )