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She’s Gone and She’s Not Coming Back

By Corinne Gasper, director of Jennifersmessengers.org

“She’s gone and she is never coming back” that was the harsh statement I heard one morning after making my way to my mailbox three weeks after my daughter was killed by a marijuana-impaired driver. I was confronted by a neighbor who had recently lost his wife of 50 years. He thought I needed to hear the truth so I wouldn’t delude myself. It was shocking, but perhaps it was something I needed to hear. Before that, I was slowly trying to process her loss and live without her in my life. No more phone calls, no more plans, no more Jennifer to love and worry about. Even now, 9 years later, tears stream down my face as I write this.

I knew I could not let this tragedy be in vain and happen to another innocent person. I heard that finding a “new purpose” is the last step in grief process. I also have learned that in helping others, we help ourselves. So slowly, I learned all about today’s marijuana and how I was going to make a difference through advocating and educating about the horrible outcomes stemming from the marijuana expansion in our country. Continue reading She’s Gone and She’s Not Coming Back

marijuana to fentanyl pipeline continues …….until Death

On November 17, 2019, Michelle Leopold’s son Trevor died of an overdose after purchasing counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl. He was only 18. His drug use started a few years earlier, when he used marijuana as a freshman at Redwood High School in Marin County, CA.  He graduated from Tamalpeis High School in 2019. (Trevor is shown with his mother Michelle at a residential treatment center in Utah, above photo)

The nation was shocked when television therapist Laura Berman’s son, Sammy Chapman, 16, died of a fentanyl overdose earlier this year.  She and her husband knew he had been using marijuana and tried to stop him.  All it took was a pill that he purchased on Snapchat. 

The teens dying of overdoses in California are getting younger and younger —16, 15, 14, 13.

The number of overdose drug deaths this past year climbed past 100,000. Of these deaths, 75% were from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Initiation of marijuana use before age 18 is the predominant predictor of an opioid use disorder.

A revealing obituary in Illinois

An obituary of a young man from Illinois who died in October appeared in a local paper. Beloved to his family and friends, the tribute reads: “He was passionate about cannabis.”  

The announcement said he was in recovery but died of heroin laced with fentanyl.  Marijuana is often the “relapse drug” for those addicted to opioids, as well as the gateway. This webpage covers many explanations of how marijuana provides the gateway effect to other drugs.

Would he still be alive if his state had not joined the marijuana bandwagon last year?  By legalizing pot, under the guise of social justice and tax money, Illinois may have sabotaged his recovery, as they did for this man. Pot use wires the brain for other pathways of drug and alcohol addiction.

People in the more experienced drug markets of California understand the marijuana to fentanyl pipeline, sometimes followed by death. 

Tori Kropp’s son Xander also died of a fentanyl overdose:                                          “18 months after he first smoked weed, he died of an accidental fentanyl overdose,” his mom said.

The Northern California epidemic

We learned about Tori through The Pitch, a newspaper put out by the advanced journalism students of Archie Williams High School in San Anselmo, California.  Henry Pratt’s article, “Every parent’s worst nightmare”: fentanyl epidemic overtakes teens” won a national journalism award.  

In the article, Kropp explains that “marijuana is a “gateway drug” to other illicit substances and that it is more dangerous for the developing teenage brain. According to Kropp, marijuana sold today has much stronger concentrations of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main component of marijuana that gives users a high. “

Pratt also interviewed Michelle Leopold for the article.  Leopold explains that the cannabis industry’s anger at her comes from her truthful comments about marijuana as a “gateway drug” to other addictive substances.  The industry, unable to admit the dangers of their products, blames her as a parent for her son’s addiction. 

Pratt’s outstanding student article further explains what fentanyl is, how it’s infiltrating the world of students. COVID, the lockdown and social media have made the situation worse.  Pratt explains how Narcan may be able to stop a fentanyl overdose. However, it’s not a long-term solution to the addiction and overdose epidemic. Primary drug prevention will take us much further.

Marijuana to Fentanyl pipeline in other states

Officials from Connecticut Overdose Response and the Department of Public Health put out a warning about the dangers of marijuana laced with fentanyl. The press release of November 18 explained 39 overdose cases since July 2021, in which patients required naloxone but claimed to have only used marijuana.  Testing proved that the marijuana had been laced with fentanyl.

Two days ago Michigan Poison Control put out a press release warning of 8 such cases in Michigan since June.  Since fentanyl-laced marijuana shows up in states with legalized marijuana, it’s clear that state “regulation” doesn’t take away these dangers. 

Today COVID, the overdose epidemic and the marijuana-to-fentanyl pipeline converge for a very challenging period of time!

“San Fransicko”: Bold proposals to cure it, but is it too late?

Michael Shellenberger’s book San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities came out on October 12, 2021. The author is a veteran activist and advocate of progressive policies, but he’s concluded they aren’t working in San Francisco. He blames the homelessness problem in west coast cities on widespread mental illness, drug addiction and bad policy, not on mild weather or the numerous other reasons cited by homelessness advocates.

Shellenberger casts a wide net to gain a perspective based upon a diversity of viewpoints. His book combines personal experience, deep research and numerous interviews with policy experts; individuals of various races and political persuasions; formerly homeless and incarcerated individuals; homeless advocates and relatives of those living in the streets.  He recommends a new policy, Cal-Psych, which would replace the failed program from Proposition 63 (on Mental Health) and come up with a new plan for conservatorships, voluntary and involuntary mental health and addiction treatments.

His plan is bold, but is it too late? Will severely ill, violent, drug-addicted offenders be able to submit to treatment?  We hope San Francisco can go back to the beautiful city it once was, but the transition will be difficult. If anything, “San Fransicko” should be a warning to other cities not to follow the lead of San Francisco.  However, it appears that many Californians are also revolting against the drug-enabling policies of the Bay Area and the state.

Continue reading “San Fransicko”: Bold proposals to cure it, but is it too late?

The Problem with Delta – 8 THC and other THC Analogs

Why is the United States passively allowing the manufacture, sale, and use of Delta 8-THC, Delta 10-THC, and THC-O, all of which are harmful chemicals that may be even more damaging than nicotine/tobacco? Why is this happening in a supposedly science-based society? Could this be occurring because of loopholes in the 2018 Agriculture Bill?

Currently, hemp-derived CBD is being synthesized and converted into these chemicals, which are then made into different products for retail sale.¹ ² ³ We can see many of these products being advertised for sale online, in vape & smoke shops, gas stations, and convenience stores in almost every state. These items are even being marketed to children through the use of very inviting packaging and products, such as the all popular gummy bears. Luckily, some state authorities have decided to stop the sale of these products because health officials have identified that there is a potential for serious harm when using these chemicals.

The FDA even recently issued a warning about one of these synthetically produced chemicals, namely Delta 8-THC: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/5-things-know-about-delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol-delta-8-thc. Continue reading The Problem with Delta – 8 THC and other THC Analogs