Category Archives: Addiction

Does California Sober work?  We say NO

“I really believe in the ‘Cali sober’ method. It’s helped me. I actually just hit five years clean.” Aaron Carter made that declaration on Adam Grandmaison’s “No Jumper” podcast — just days before he died on November 5, 2022.  As he fingered a joint, he continued, “This, I don’t consider a drug. I consider this a gift from God.” 

What is Cali sober and does it work?    

In California, where the drug culture has been strong since the 1960s, many young people go into harm reduction therapy for the treatment of addiction, instead of abstinence.   California sober, or Cali sober, goes along with this trend. We see little evidence that this approach works.  Continue reading Does California Sober work?  We say NO

Raising Lazarus Describes Continuing Overdose Crisis

Beth Macy’s Raising Lazarus is the latest book on the overdose crisis.  Unfortunately, this insightful journalist who wrote Dopesick, made into a series on Hulu, is a harm reductionist who doesn’t put too much stock in primary drug prevention.    

Drug policy should have three prongs: Prevention, Recovery and Harm Reduction.

Instead of tirelessly stating “Let’s stop stigmatizing addiction,” why can’t we say, “Let’s celebrate recovery”?  

We need to incentivize recovery.  

The drug epidemic has been running for more than 20 years now, and today the primary driver is fentanyl, an opioid sold on the black market. An estimated 107,000 died of overdose last year.  Why is it only getting worse? Perhaps it’s because we’re addressing the problem with harm reduction only and not spending much money on drug prevention. In the case of fentanyl, youths are going right from marijuana use to buying pills that are laced with fentanyl and dying immediately.  In pot legalization states out west, it currently is happening to those as young as 13 and 14.

Macy’s view of marijuana is a blindspot

Macy scorns Nancy Reagan and her “cabal of marijuana-hating moms” on p. 77.  But does she realize that the parents movement of 1979-1992 brought down drugs use from 39% of all teens to 14%?   The parent movement, which included black activists, was an exceptional achievement.  We could do the same now, if only  harm reduction were not the primary leg of drug policy. Continue reading Raising Lazarus Describes Continuing Overdose Crisis

IASIC, International doctors’ group formed to educate on marijuana

A doctors’ group is taking on cannabis education.  On May 20, 2021, the International Academy on the Science and Impact of Cannabis (IASIC) officially launched with a press conference held in San Diego and live streamed across the country.  

President of the newly-launched group IASIC, Dr. Eric Voth, is no stranger to addiction and drug policy work.  In his forty years involved in the fields of Internal Medicine, Pain Medicine and Addiction Medicine, he confidently asserts, “…We’ve seen marijuana become a serious public health problem…Today, as a direct result of rigorous efforts to legalize and normalize marijauna, it is responsible for a host of medical problems.”

IASIC has been founded to fill the serious void Continue reading IASIC, International doctors’ group formed to educate on marijuana

Child Abuse and neglect deaths continue – highest count in Pennsylvania

Parents Opposed to Pot cites 256 marijuana-related child deaths in a plea not to legalize MJ.

MERRIFIELD, VA, US, March 30, 2021 — As New York and Virginia legislators move closer to marijuana legalization this week, they should consider the traffic deaths of children whose caregivers drove after using marijuana. In the Bronx, New York, Sincere Mitchell, 8, died in a crash when his father was drunk and high on THC. In Virginia, Brian Cameron Hughes died after his mother’s boyfriend crashed, admitting he had smoked marijuana before driving.

“Those pushing for cannabis legalization want to keep marijuana users from getting arrest records. But legislators need to consider the potential loss of life from THC-impaired drivers on our roads,” explains Corinne Gasper, who lost her daughter to a speeding driver with high levels of THC in his system.

Currently, law enforcement cannot adequately test or prove THC-impairment of motorists. Parents Opposed to Pot (PopPot.org), a Merrifield, VA, non-profit, finds news reports of at least 115 U.S. traffic deaths in which marijuana is the only impairing substance and many more deaths with marijuana and other drug mixtures.

Poppot.org also tracks child abuse and neglect deaths related to parent and caregiver pot use, finding 256 deaths in news reports since the first two states voted to legalize pot in 2012. This count includes deaths of 29 children that occurred because a parent or caregiver drove while impaired by marijuana and 23 who died from infant THC exposure, mainly in infants.

Marijuana, the most common drug found in child abuse or neglect deaths

Parents Opposed to Pot’s tracking is informal, based on how much information gets reported by the press. The federal government requires all states to report child fatalities related to abuse or neglect. In three states that report on specific drugs connected to such deaths, Texas, Arizona, and Florida – not states with the highest rate of pot use– marijuana consistently comes up as the number one drug, more than alcohol.

In Colorado, a father, Isaac Bullard was recently sentenced for the death of his 23-month son. After “dabbing” high potency pot one morning, he forgot to put his son in the car and backed out over him.

When PopPot.org first started tracking child abuse deaths linked to pot, Colorado and California led in the tally of deaths from late 2012 to 2015. Today, Pennsylvania leads Poppot’s count, with 25 deaths, most of them having occurred recently. Since medical marijuana was argued in the state legislature (the bill passed in April 2016), it seems that more children have been born to mothers who used during pregnancy or post-partum. Mothers using marijuana during pregnancy or postpartum pose many risks to their children, including low birth weight and breathing issues. Twelve of the Pennsylvania deaths involve THC exposure.

Marijuana impairs memory and executive functioning which can lead to poor judgement. Other side effects include: distortion of time, addiction, paranoia, anxiety and mood disorders. The worst outcome is psychosis which, if left untreated or not resolved by quitting drug use, can become schizophrenia. An adult who is high or in psychosis may fail to give adequate supervision, or may act violently towards a child.

Fires, drownings, hot cars

Eighteen children died in fires related to parents using pot. Three sets of twins, all toddlers, died in fires, either because their moms left home and abandoned them in order to acquire marijuana, or, in one case of a father given court-ordered visitation, the parent fell asleep after smoking it.

California has reported many instances of child endangerment when children were present at home marijuana labs, called butane hash oil labs. Two of 18 children who died by fire involved BHO explosions and at least three children had to be treated for BHO burns on more than half of their bodies.

Twenty-five children died from drowning, 8 of them in Florida. Adult marijuana use was a likely factor in at least 21 hot car deaths of infants and toddlers since 2013.

Parents Opposed to Pot is a 501c3 educational nonprofit based in northern Virginia. Contact at 773-322-7523 or visit the website, poppot.org, Facebook @poppotorg.


Editors Note: The number of child deaths as of 8/30/2022 is now 290. See updated PopPot Fact Sheet on Child Abuse Deaths.