Jennifer’s Messengers sounds alarm, supports drugged driving victims

We introduce a new website, Jennifer’s Messengers,  to honor Jennifer, and to bring to light marijuana driving dangers.  A recent study estimated 6800 more deaths per year on our roads if marijuana is federally legalized.

Jennifer’s Messengers takes its name from Jennifer Hrobuchak, who was killed by a driver high on medical marijuana.  It happened on July 24, 2012, and nine years later, the pain is still strong. 

When people say legalizing marijuana is freedom, think of Jennifer and her family. Where’s her freedom? Where’s her mother’s freedom?  Is she free to call her daughter on the phone? Is she free to see that daughter who would be 31 now?  No, that freedom was taken away by a man who was stoned. He violently killed Jennifer and only got a slap on the wrist, spending less than 2 years in jail.

Here’s what her mother said:

Who Was Jennifer?

“My daughter Jennifer Corinne H. was vibrant, intelligent, and so driven to be a productive and meaningful member of our society. She was tall, had the most beautiful hair and the brightest smile, with green eyes to match. Jen played lacrosse so well and earned herself a college scholarship to a small school in Northern Ohio where she blossomed into an incredible woman.

Jennifer Corinne Hrobuchak, October 4, 1989 – July 24, 2012

She graduated with honors in May of 2012 with a degree in Intelligence and Analysis Research. She now spoke Spanish and Arabic fluently and could translate both languages, which in the world of today is critical in her field.

On a July night, a man came racing through the intersection at 82mph, speeding through the red light. He slammed into the side of my daughter’s car, sending it over the embankment and straight into the front wall of a Lube Stop building, collapsing it on Jennifer’s car.

Jennifer passed away at the scene from the severe injuries she sustained. The 26-year-old man who caused her death was not injured. He was high on “medical marijuana” given to him in his home state of Michigan.

Why did these drivers get away with it?

Jennifer’s Messengers covers more victims’ stories:  Stephen Mager and Brian Wood,  both killed by drugged drivers. The stories of Chase Rodgers, Henry MacDougall, and newlyweds Kayla and Dan Amos are included on our website, as well as Jennifer’s Messengers.  We hope you’ll look at both websites to understand the urgency of this problem. 

Jennifer died six days after another medical marijuana user killed Rosemary Tempel, an award-winning nurse in Seattle.   Rosemary was the sister of Phillip Drum, pharmacist and professional advisor to Parents Opposed to Pot.  It’s no coincidence that this incident occurred shortly after advocates put legalization on the ballot in Washington state.   

Pharmacies are required to tell when it’s not safe to drive on certain drugs. It’s reasonable to expect the same of “medical dispensaries.”   In Massachusetts, a man who smoked marijuana shortly after leaving a pot shop killed state trooper Thomas Clardy, father of seven. A judge found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter.  However, as marijuana laws loosen, judges don’t hold marijuana-impaired drivers accountable, giving little sense of justice to victims.

Driving after pot use should be taken as seriously as drunk driving

Many teens don’t think twice about getting into the car with friends who’ve been using pot. Some of these same teens would never get into the car of a friend who had been drinking.  We need to change the narrative and impress upon youth that “under the influence” is impaired, no matter what the substance. 

The increasingly popular trend of combining and booze poses a greater crash risk than the use of either substance alone.  In fact, a recent editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association warned of the dangers  in this trend

Parents Opposed to Pot unites those who have lost children from marijuana-impaired driving with those who have lost children from other harmful health effects of marijuana. 

We’re hoping to make the public recognize that drugged driving is just as much a problem as drunk driving. Can we be like a MADD for marijuana?   There are a few ways we invite you to join us, as we attempt to make our message heard.  

Spread the word

  1. Send us a picture(s) of your loved one(s), and we can make a meme to pay tribute.  We will share it on social media including Facebook and Twitter.  Write to [email protected] to share the photo and story on Jennifer’s Messengers.        
  2. With a donation, get a car kit to bring notice to Jennifer’s Messengers and marijuana driving dangers.  The cup holds hot or cold liquids.  Please consider it a great gift for your teen, niece or nephew who is a young driver.  You get your choice of a beautiful pink/white or black/white tumbler, a window cling, and a coaster.
    Just click this link to donate to receive your car kit to help us increase awareness of the dangers of marijuana driving.
  3. Ask to join the private Facebook group for Jennifer’s Messengers.
  4.  Share our drugged driving memes:
  5.  “Like” us on Facebook,  and share it with your friends and family who know your story. 
  6. Call us to talk, share your story and offer to volunteer, write to [email protected].  or call 773-322-7523

Jennifers Messengers hopes that more victims of marijuana-impaired driving will speak out.  Our core group will continue to fight marijuana expansion and keep dispensaries out of communities.  We won’t accept a plan to nationally legalize marijuana or other drugs.  Drunk driving does enough harm.  Why would we think it ok to add to the problem by making another impairing drug more available?

With Jennifers Messengers, we attempt to expose truths that have been covered up by the pot industry’s clever public relations.   Please read our other articles about the dangers of marijuana-impaired driving.

Please also check out DUID Victims Voices, which also brings attention to drugged driving, with more analysis, statistics and other victims’ stories.