Category Archives: California

The Other Side of Cannabis Screened at SLO Festival

The Other Side of Cannabis: Negative Effects of Marijuana on Our Youth  will  be screened at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival on Wednesday, March 11, 7 pm.   On April 9, the film’s producer will screen a segment from the film and speak at the SAM Summit in Atlanta, as a part of the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit.

Marijuana eduction is profoundly lacking.  Today’s marijuana is not what it used to be, but the perception is that it is a safe, natural substance with no side effects. This ground-breaking film—which illustrates the potential negative effects, can  be used by drug educators, schools, prevention groups, addiction treatment centers, psychiatrists, psychologists and other medical.

Continue reading The Other Side of Cannabis Screened at SLO Festival

Twenty Children, Twenty Deaths Tied to Marijuana

At least 20 small children have died nationwide because of their parents’ or caretaker’s marijuana usage, since Colorado and Washington voted to legalize pot.    It began in November 2012,  just over two years ago, and it continues to happen in 2015.  Four of those deaths occurred in Colorado, three in California.

It’s high time that a parents’ marijuana usage becomes part of the national discussion of child custody and visitation. It’s hard to understand why Doreen Reyes of Palmetto Bay, FL, had to allow her son, 4-year old Javon Dade, Jr., overnight visitation to the father who used marijuana, cocaine, had several drug arrests and kept pit bulls.  The last time Javon spent the night with him was  in August, the time that he died.

Children’s deaths — involving parents whose marijuana use interfered with parenting — have occurred in every corner of the country—from Vermont to Florida, from Michigan to Texas, from Oregon to Arizona, from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma. The more pot promoters say that marijuana is harmless and justify their growing industry, the more neglected and abused children there will be; some will suffer and die — unnecessarily.

Marijuana users—if addicted– have a tendency to lose a sense of time and be neglectful parents, or in some cases, abusive. Unfortunately, in many cases, both parents are drug abusers.   Many medical marijuana “patients” prefer to convert pot into hash oil.  When these “patients” use butane or other flammables, they should not be given custody and should only be allowed supervised visitation.  Too many fires have resulted in children treated for burns.

Children who died in Fires, Hot Cars

Levi Welton, Kyheir and Dyheir Arthur, Andre Sosa-Martinez and Lileigh Kellenears died in fires.  Levi Welton died in a fire while his parents used pot with friends in another room.  Sosa-Martinez’s mother was also home when he died, but she was too stoned to notice sooner, or to react. In the other three deaths by fire, the parents had left the children home alone while the parents toked.

In Phoenix, a father smoked pot and forgot about time, as his three-month old son died in a hot car.   In El Cajon, CA, last summer, a child died because a couple left their 4-month child, while the mother smoked pot with her brother nearby.  In Kansas, it was a 10-month old baby girl who died in a foster father’s care while he bought marijuana, watched Game of Thrones and left her in the car.

Jamison Gray, Tyler and William Jensen, Kadylak Poe Jones and Giovanni Soto died in overheated cars.  With the passage of time and their parents’ marijuana usage, they were forgotten.

Jase Colby, Gabriela Guerrera, Natalye Price and Andrew Prior died because they were victims of physical abuse….and their parents were marijuana users. Kamari Taylor died because of his mom’s violent boyfriend, who left the child alone as he went out to sell pot. Paxton Stokes’ death is a little more mysterious, but it was probably the marijuana-using mom’s boyfriend who abused him.

Last year in California, 16-month old Harley Bradford and 33-month old Jason Bradford died by drowning while their stoned mother slept and ignored them. She was staying at the home of a friend who had a marijuana grow and hash oil lab. Although the boy tried to wake her, she ignored her son for many hours only to find both children had gone outside and drowned in a swimming pool. The saddest part is that relatives were going to take over custody of the children the next day.

In Vermont, the mother of Saunder Coltrane River Gilruth, smothered him to death while he slept. She admitted to smoking pot and drinking the previous night.  The mother smoked pot daily during her pregnancy, and her physician knew it.  The infant was only 27 days old, and was at risk because of his very low birth weight.  When alcohol or other drugs add to a parent’s impairment, it doesn’t minimize the danger of today’s high-strength pot.

These cases do not include the many children who have been put in harm’s way while their parents made butane hash oil, and caused explosions. Since November of 2012, at least two dozen children have been in homes, apartments or hotels where BHO fires occurred, in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, California and Montana.  A tremendous amount of luck, and quick emergency services, have allowed these children to survive.

While the Press reports on the glamor of those in the marijuana business, young people and young parents have the wrong impression of marijuana’s risks. While everyone acknowledges that heavy drinking or 2nd-hand tobacco smoke are a risks for children, pot users are treated as celebrities. Thanks to Maureen Dowd’s expose in the NY Times, people have been warned to keep marijuana edibles from children.

However, where is the justice for these 20 children who died?

The Children Who Survive

Not all child abuse cases involving marijuana end in death.   One  recent case of child brutality involved a marijuana-addicted mom in Arizona.  The mom has been arrested, and the little girl survives.  In Florida, a man threw a crying 11-month old baby who suffered terrible injuries but is still alive.   Another mother and her boyfriend in Florida smoked pot all morning and ignored the pleas of her 3-year old who was locked outside until a neighbor found him.  The arrested mother claimed, “Marijuana should be legal anyways.”

In family courts, judges need to consider the extreme impairment that many marijuana users have – no matter how much they love their children. There should be requirements for drug testing, addiction treatment and follow-up which figure into custody orders.  Child Protective Services (CHS) and Departments of Children and Family Services (DCFS) are in difficult situations.

The simplest way to cut down child abuse/neglect is not to legalize marijuana, legitimize its use and call it harmless.  Our young people need better education about the harms of marijuana before they become parents.   We also need to provide plenty of ways to get addiction treatment for the parents who need it.

As a nation, we are turning a blind eye to the damage marijuana users may present to their children. We need to recognize the poor judgment and the warped sense of time that marijuana users have.  When marijuana use has been combined with fires and hot cars, children die.  See Child Abuse, Part 1 (neglect) and Part 2 (violence).

Marijuana Policy Must Protect Youth

By Roger Morgan, Founder/Chairman Take Back America Campaign America has gone from leading 92 countries in the fight against narcotics to a rogue nation with a federal government that has largely abandoned its responsibility to enforce drug laws. Marijuana, the enemy within, is rightly classified a Schedule I drug because it has no accepted medical use and has the potential for harm. Isolated components of the plant, like CBD, do appear to have medicinal value, but the marijuana being sold today as medicine has been bio engineered to be high in THC, the psychoactive ingredient, and void of CBD, because 98% of the “patients” just want to get high.

In 1979 by Keith Stroup, founder of NORML (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws), announced at Emory University that the term “medical marijuana” would be used as a red herring to give pot a good name as a first step toward full legalization. It has been a long, patient plan, but obviously working thanks to the help of a few billionaires, with George Soros at the helm. Owing to a propaganda campaign financed by Soros, and now deceased Peter Lewis (former Chairman of Progressive Insurance) and John Sperling (founder of Phoenix University), Californians approved Prop 215 in 1996 to provide “medical marijuana” out of compassion for the chronically ill. In reality it had nothing to do with compassion, but was simply the first step in the long journey to legalize pot, with no concern for the social consequences for mankind.

Public Health and Safety is the first and most important priority of governments at all levels. Unfortunately, when the federal government fails to enforce the law, the burden falls to the States. When the States fail, the burden falls on local communities, which is exactly what has happened in California. In spite of the fact that the State collects between $58 and $105 million a year taxing marijuana, the money goes into the general fund leaving local government with burden of mental illness, suicides, declining academic achievement, more welfare, traffic deaths and crime. As an example, 54% of arrestees in the Sacramento area test positive for marijuana, 80% for all drugs. But crime isn’t the only problem.children

Marijuana is s fat soluble toxin that stays in the body and brain longer than any other drug. Unlike water soluble alcohol where one ounce is excreted from the body in 12 hours, half the THC from pot remains in the body and brain for a month, compounding with each additional joint. It weakens the immune system, increases the chance of cardiac arrest, leads to respiratory problems and cancer, and causes more DNA damage than even heroin based on studies done over 30 years ago, when the THC content was only 1/2 to 2%. Today the THC content averages 15%, goes as high as 37% in smoked form, and up to 90% as wax (BHO). It doesn’t kill by overdose, but almost all of the 114 Americans who die every day from drug overdose started their drug journey with pot.

Marijuana’s biggest impact is on the brain, which isn’t fully developed until age 25. Until it is, particularly during adolescence, marijuana can cause irreversible brain damage and subsequent loss of IQ by as much as 8 points. Pot is a causal factor in suicidal depression; psychosis including schizophrenia and paranoia; psychotic episodes leading to violent acts; impaired cognition, learning and memory; double the risk of traffic accidents and death; addiction; and causes death or physical deformities to a fetus. Unfortunately, the majority of consumers are 25 and under, peaking at age 19 or 20.PiedPiper(8)

California is targeted for outright legalization in 2016, financed again by Soros and out-of-state billionaires. America is already on a trajectory for 1/4th to 1/3rd of its young people and their offspring to incur permanent brain damage. Since the burden of public health and safety now rests with local government and private citizens, we must lock arms and do all possible to protect our youth, or neither they nor we have a future as a nation
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR ….
ROGER MORGAN Chairman/Founder, Take Back America Campaign, 20 year anti-drug activist dealing with drug prevention at the local, state and national level. (www.tbac.us). Formerly Chairman and Executive Director of the Coalition for A Drug-Free California. Owner/CEO of Steelheart International LLC, engaged in international business development and has been an entrepreneur and businessman in California for 35 years. Formerly, he was Vice President of Volvo of America and General Manager of Volvo Penta of America; and engaged in sales, marketing and dealer administration with Caterpillar Tractor Company and Caterpillar Overseas. He is a graduate of Washburn High School in Minneapolis (1956), Colorado College (1963) and The Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Management (1964). He was Founding Chairman of the Coronado SAFE Foundation in 1997, a non-profit dealing with drug prevention; prior Board Member of the San Diego Prevention Coalition; member of the National Coalition for Student Drug Testing; and Special Advisor to the Golden Rule Society in Coronado. His passion for drug prevention stems from two step-children who became drug addicted at age 12 and 14 roughly 32 years ago, and two nephews who died from drug related causes. Morgan has authored two books, published on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble, relating to marijuana and drug prevention. He is a frequent speaker and has written hundreds of articles on drugs and drug prevention.

68 Treated in Northern California for BHO Burns

Since 2011, at least 68 people were treated for burns caused by butane hash oil fires and explosions, at northern California burn centers, including Shriners Hospital for Children, Sacramento, and at the UC Davis Regional Burn Center.

Usually those making BHO suffer the most, but several times it has happened at homes with children. The most recent baby who was badly burned in a hash oil (BHO) explosion was a 19-month old boy at a student housing complex in Montana.  The law has not kept up with the problem, as parents who engage in this deadly practice still have custody and visitation rights.  Children are threatened by neighbors who do it, too.

Butane hash oil (BHO) production is a marijuana extraction process which has exploded in popularity over the past three years. The victim had burns covering 28% of the body, according to Dr. David Greenhalgh, reporting to the Sacramento Bee in August.  A past president of the American Burn Association, he called hash oil burns an “epidemic.”  Greenhalgh’s research in wound care, skin grafts and reconstruction make him a leading national figure in the burn field.

Thanks to quick emergency response and to the quality of emergency medical treatment available in the United States,  it appears that all of the children have survived.  However, we have raised a group of young adults who are so accustomed to hearing “marijuana is safe” that they have no notion of the need to protect children from the dangers pot involves.

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Photo, originally published in Oregonian, provided by Legacy Emanuel Burn Center. Top photo, Sacramento County Attorney’s office, fire in Arden-Arcade, CA, 2013

Those who make BHO and cause the explosions–31 in Colorado, this year, 20 in San Diego County within a year, 6 in Riverside County, 6 in San Bernardino County, 6 near Portland, OR and 7 in the Puget Sound—have been extraordinarily lucky.  Of those who died from hash oil explosions, at least one was in California, one in Oregon and one in Hawaii.  Two of the deaths were neighbors who were affected by the fires.  In Spokane, WA, a neighbor with respiratory problems died two months after the fire in January, while in Bellevue, WA, it was a former mayor of the city who died from a broken pelvis(see previous articles on this topic)

Downloadable Fact Sheet

Get the Parents Opposed to Pot Hash Oil Facts! Download our new flyer, which describes the hash oil explosions in states which have permissive marijuana laws: POPPOT-Hash Oil Statistics.

Hash oil explosions increase with legal marijuana, as has happened up and down the west coast, including four explosions in late November, one each in California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.  There is a question as to how much lax enforcement of marijuana laws in parts of Washington, Oregon and California have allowed the practices to continue.

Fires while in the Care of Neglectful Parents

At least 2 children died by fire this year when neglectful parents smoked marijuana.  BHO is not the only way marijuana users threaten children by fire, because pot-smoking parents can be “out of it” and consumed by addiction.   Two-year-old Levi Welton of Sterling, Colorado, was left alone with his four-year-old brother with matches while his parents smoked marijuana with friends in another room.  (The parents and his brother survived.) In Oregon, during the last week of October, a mother was high on marijuana as a fire consumed her four-year old son.   Neighbors reported her too stoned to be aware and to show any emotion when her son died.

It also happened last year in a state without a legal marijuana program. In Pennsylvania woman pled guilty to leaving her 3-year-old twins to die in a fire while she left the house to see whether her marijuana had been stolen by her 15-year-old daughter.  Police say the boys turned on a burner on a grease-covered stove, sparking flames that soon engulfed the house.

The cost of an addiction is putting the substance ahead of the loved ones.   About 1 in 6 who begin using marijuana under age 18 become addicted, although marijuana promoters claim it is not addictive.

Oregon recently enacted a law forbidding daycare employees and operators from using medical marijuana.  Let’s hope other states follow suit, and that, in family courts, states do not give custody and visitation rights to marijuana-using parents, especially those making BHO.

As California Gov Jerry Brown has said, the world is too dangerous a place for Americans not be alert by using pot.  This concept applies to parenthood.  Parenthood is too large a responsibility for us not to protect our children. We need not expose small children to the manufacture of BHO or put them in the care of parents who prioritize marijuana over their children.  However, when neighbors make hash oil, parents may have no warnings.

Our tolerance for marijuana has  taught a new generation of young adults that marijuana is safe.  Making BHO is mainly done in western states, but the explosions have happened in Florida, Ohio, Massachusetts, Florida, Chicago, Michigan, Virginia, Houston.  It will spread east if we don’t watch out.  No longer should anyone say, “safer than alcohol” or “it’s just pot.” We have sent the wrong message, and need to replace it with a message that parenting and pot use do not mix.