“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→
My son started using his junior year in high school when he was 15. He was young for his grade. By the time he went off to a UC campus, he was smoking daily. This highly academic student began to lose the ability to focus, and his anxiety got out of control. We had our first indication of psychosis on Mother’s Day 2020 when he was home during the lockdown. We took him to the ER and he was diagnosed with “cannabis use disorder.” I did not understand at the time that this meant ‘your son is addicted.’ He got into an outpatient program through his UC campus and after a brief stint at sobriety, he relapsed. Continue reading Bipolar Disorder or Cannabis-induced Psychosis? Many Cannot Afford the Answer→
My family moved to Pueblo in 2005 to be closer to family. We loved the people, weather, beauty and close access to hiking and the mountains.
Many families were moving to what I thought was Colorado’s best-kept secret.
We raised our kids in Pueblo, got involved with community organizations and I worked as a licensed physical therapist assistant at several well known local clinics. I got to know the people and heart of Pueblo through my jobs.
In 2014, the commercialization of THC, the mood-altering chemical in marijuana, changed Pueblo.
September marked the 10th anniversary of my son Justin’s death at age 17 from an accidental drug overdose. The medical examiner’s report months later said it was heroin that killed him. But I have to say for Justin it all began with marijuana, and I’m angrier at marijuana than I am at heroin. Here’s why.
Justin was a good student, an extremely talented musician and songwriter on the verge of completing the recording of his first original music album. On Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008, Justin spent the afternoon with people we didn’t know and came home later than expected as he readied for his first full week as a senior at Yorktown High School. He never woke up that Monday morning. Somewhere along the way that Sunday he had snorted heroin. Continue reading New York Dad says marijuana complicit in son’s heroin overdose death→