Krystal Kazmark’s sudden passing in a tragic, preventable car crash left an irreplaceable space in the hearts of her parents, Mary and Craig Kazmark, and her brother Kyle.
Krystal performed an inspirational song of tribute to her classmates at the Palos Verdes High School graduation in 2013. But, on July 25, 2020, the light went out instantly for this young lady who was so vibrant and full of life. She was a California girl. Continue reading A beautiful voice, a beautiful light lost to this world →
On March 27, 2019 our lives were forever changed. We were devastated by the reckless and untimely death of our second child, Aaron Reddy, at the age of 18. Considering that marijuana is the drug that killed my child directly, the drug that was in his blood when he died, I am furious that our state just voted to legalize marijuana, without understanding its dangers. But now there is a growing group of parents whose children died from marijuana. We need to stand together, just like those whose kids died of opioids stand together. We will also make ourselves heard.
When cannabis becomes legal, its dangers intensify, as the experiences of Colorado and California prove. When medical marijuana becomes legal, its dangers intensified in Maryland, as the story of my son Aaron proves. Here is Aaron’s story. Continue reading Our Lives Were Changed Forever →
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 →
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 →