“If Shane had known that marijuana could lead to any mental disorder, I know he never would have tried it,” opined Lori Robinson, co-founder of the website Moms Strong. “Even though my husband and I are from California and had never used drugs, California voted to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 when Shane was 10. He grew up in a state that legitimizes marijuana use, way beyond the severe disabling health conditions for which people had voted 20 years ago.
“My brother had bad some experiences with drugs when he was younger and felt it necessary to warn my very social, popular son against hard drugs. It worked. Shane went through high school without touching any illicit drug, even though some circles of kids in his high school did use drugs,” Robinson told us. He moved out of the house at age 19 in 2005. At that time, youth were being brainwashed by the phrases “weed is just a harmless herb” and “pot isn’t even a drug. ”
Shane began using “recreational” marijuana at age 19 and had his first psychotic break at 23. He died 4 years ago, shortly after his 25th birthday. For this reason, Lori Robinson and Sally Schindel of Arizona have banded together to expose the marijuana charade. Sally’s son Andy died two years ago, leaving a note saying that marijuana had destroyed his brain. Their stories and others are on the Moms Strong website.
Christine Miller, PhD, pharmacologist, is a special advisor to the website and provides a wealth of medical studies linking marijuana to a range of mental illnesses, psychosis, violence.
Robinson and Schindel hope that many parents may recognize the truth in these stories and will give up the fear of being stigmatized for having an adverse reaction to marijuana. Mental illness is huge topic on the minds of many people now, and the United States is not addressing it well. If your child is showing mental health alterations, parents must know that marijuana could be triggering the problems or making the problems worse.
Parents whose children had psychotic breaks after less than a year of pot use have reached out to Parents Opposed to Pot. The marijuana industry and marijuana lobbyists disregard and shame the stories of people whose brain health is diminished by marijuana. This may be a reason too few people were speaking out sooner. When Robinson first told her story to Parents Opposed to Pot 17 months ago, she was not willing to use her name in public.
Parents Opposed to Pot warns against marijuana because children, teens and young adults who use pot can 1) become addicted to marijuana; 2) increase the likelihood to abuse other drugs, including alcohol, opiates, heroin, synthetic marijuana and 3) experience marijuana-induced psychosis. Thirty years ago — when marijuana was 1/5 the strength of today — the principle worries about teen marijuana use (unless parents were really up on the literature) were laziness, reduction in grades and dropping out of school. Now we know the consequences can be much worse, in some cases fatal.