Tag Archives: California

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!

Was Marijuana-Induced Psychosis a Trigger for Triple Child Murder?

Press Release – A horrific family tragedy could be the result of marijuana use by a depressed mom. The bodies of two toddlers and an infant were found.

MERRIFIELD, VA, US, April 15, 2021 — The discovery of a triple murder of three young children (ages 3, 2 and 6 months) on April 10 in Reseda, California, points to the dangers of using marijuana to self-medicate. The only suspect, the children’s mom Liliana Carrillo, struggled with post-partum depression in the past. Under the influence of her frequent marijuana use, a fact confirmed by the father, she showed symptoms of psychosis. When psychosis is coupled with drug use, the risk for extreme violence goes up significantly. Liliana is alleged to have killed her children by bludgeoning and drowning.

From what can be gleaned from the Los Angeles Times article on the murders, Liliana was experiencing some of the worst side effects of marijuana. She was reported to exhibit delusional thinking, paranoia, agitation, suicidal thoughts, and had recently lost touch with reality. Teri Miller, an ER doctor who is also a cousin of the children’s father, described to authorities that Liliana was a danger to the children and declared that when the murders occurred it was a clear psychiatric emergency.

Continue reading Was Marijuana-Induced Psychosis a Trigger for Triple Child Murder?

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 12/29/2021 is now 278 and two more deaths have occurred in Pennsylvania, a drowning and a suffocation death. Two violent neglect cases happened more recently in Pennsylvania. See PopPot Fact Sheet on Child Abuse Deaths.

HHS Data, Monitoring the Future data show troubling trends

Youth drug use increases in legalized states

State-level data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the most authoritative study on drug use conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), found significant increases in youth marijuana use in several recently legalized marijuana states versus last year.  At the same time, mental illness indicators worsened across the country while alcohol, cocaine, and tobacco use dropped, especially among young people. Continue reading HHS Data, Monitoring the Future data show troubling trends