Will Jesse Bullard’s death waken the public to dangers of legal pot?

Toddler’s death highlights how marijuana use becomes abuse

Jesse James Bullard’s sweet smile lit the world of all those with whom he came in contact, but he lost his life abruptly on January 22.   His father, Isaac, smoked a marijuana “dab” that morning, backed his car out and ran over the baby boy.  Jesse was was about a month shy of his second birthday.  But this was Colorado, and health officials don’t find parents’ marijuana habits unusual.

Popular magazines and newspapers publish articles which promote marijuana for moms and dads.  Newspapers – with some notable exceptions — are reluctant to report about the true dangers of marijuana.

For five years, we’ve warning that parents’ and caregivers’ pot use puts young children in danger.  Two weeks after Colorado opened recreational pot shops in 2014, Levi Welton’s parents smoked pot with friends, while their two-year-old was in another room.  Levi died in a fire, which he tried to escape by hiding in the closet.  

Parenting and pot use don’t mix. One joint impairs far more than a glass of wine or beer. Wake n bakers lose track of time, people and responsibility.  Isaac Bullard remembered the dog and diaper bag, but he forgot to put his son in the car to go to the sitter.  When asked how “high” he was, the father said he said he was only 2 or 3 on a scale of 10.   

Legalization encourages wake ‘n bake

After a state legalizes marijuana, some casual marijuana users become diehard abusers.  The commercial industry manufactures stronger and more potent products.   Many of those suffering from addiction have no idea how impaired they are.   So if Isaac Bullard was only a 2 or 3, we shudder to think how impaired he’d be as a 10.

When Bullard was arrested, police discovered an elaborate marijuana grow operation of 79 plants and a butane hash oil extraction lab.

Jesse’s mom won’t let his memory die

Last March, Tamlin Bullard realized her husband was not going to put the family ahead of his drug.  Isaac Bullard moved to Colorado to follow his marijuana dream.  She separated from the father, but a lawyer advised her that she must allow visitation, even while he was in Colorado. 

Keeping drugs illegal is a “harm reduction” policy.  Legalizing a drug legitimizes its use, and turns good people into problem users.  For that reason, we will always fight against legalization. Since the first votes to legalize marijuana in 2012, we’ve found news accounts of 220 child fatalities related to marijuana.  It’s a problem throughout the country, but more pronounced in legalization states.

Comparisons with alcohol

Marijuana advocates love to stress dangers of alcohol when arguing in favor of marijuana legalization.  However, the number of drivers impaired by both marijuana and alcohol increases with legalization.  Because stoned drivers are more likely to drive during the day, children, pedestrians and bicyclists face a greater risk.

Recent reports issued by Texas, Florida and Arizona show that marijuana, by far, is the leading substance associated with child abuse death cases. In states that track the substance associated with child abuse and neglect, marijuana leads the pack, ahead of alcohol and all other drugs.  A number of the hot car deaths in recent years resulted from parents’ neglect when they were high on marijuana.

Pediatric exposures to marijuana in states with legalization produce dangerous altered mental states in children. The article describes three cases in Washington.

Dr. Ed Gogek, author of Marijuana Debunked says upwards of 70% of child abuse cases are related to substance abuse. Colorado, Washington, California and other legalization have opened up a Pandora’s Box of problems.  How can anyone believe that an individual’s freedom to use a drug is more important than the life of a child?