Tag Archives: Luke Goodman

Richard Kirk interview confirms marijuana as unsafe swap for opiates

Three months after Colorado opened marijuana stores, Richard Kirk shot and killed his wife while she was on the phone with 911.  On November 12, Lori Gliha, an investigative journalist from the news magazine program Insight with John Ferruggia interviewed him on Rocky Mountain PBS. Most viewers who watched the jailhouse interview agree that he wouldn’t have killed his wife had he not eaten the marijuana edible.

The State of Colorado deserves a good portion of the blame for the death of Kristine Kirk. Continue reading Richard Kirk interview confirms marijuana as unsafe swap for opiates

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Marijuana and Suicide: A Growing Risk for Our Youth

When Hamza Warsame fell six floors to his death in December, 2015, the social media was abuzz with suggestions of a hate crime against the Muslim teen.  Warsame, an immigrant from Somalia, was living in Seattle and had been invited to the  21-year-old classmate’s apartment.

Hamza Warsame.  The 16-year-old killed himself after using only once, a reflection of the high potency of today’s pot.

However, the news came out that Warsame had smoked marijuana for the first time and had a psychotic reaction.  He may have tried to jump to the next building’s roof.   It wasn’t legal for a 16- year-old to smoke marijuana.  But Washington is a marijuana state, and his 21-year-old classmate had bought it legitimately at a dispensary.  (Signs along the highways of Washington warn that it’s illegal to buy or give alcohol to those under age 21. There should be similar warnings for marijuana.)

Warsame’s death was from smoking today’s high potency ganja, not the edibles.   At least two young men, Luke Goodman, 23, and Levy Thamba, 19, killed themselves in Colorado after eating marijuana edibles which made them psychotic.  In Colorado, edibles first went on sale for recreational purposes beginning in January, 2014.   Many people read about New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s experience with marijuana.   A mother also wrote a New York Times column about that marijuana chocolate bar that put her son on suicide watch.

Less well known are the stories of Brant Clark and Daniel Juarez, featured on a CBS News Report of May, 2015.  High potency pot has been the norm in Colorado since the early 2000s.  Psychosis and hallucinations occur quite frequently.   These teens became psychotic and killed themselves — before Coloradans voted to legalize recreational marijuana.

Tron Dohse, from the website of CBS4 News    Photo of Daniel Juarez on top is also from the CBS affiliate in Denver.

Tron Dohse was a young adult featured in the same evening news report that reported about Clark and Juarez. He overdosed on marijuana and fell to his death while trying to climb a building.

As one Colorado resident said, “If residents had known the horror story of why Daniel Juarez death in 2012, they never would have voted to legalize.”  (Juarez’s photo is on top of the page.)

More Recent Suicides

More recently, there were the marijuana-related suicides Marc Bullard and Rashaan Salaam in Colorado. (These are the stories that made the news, so we don’t mention recent suicides from pot not in the news.)  Salaam was 41, a former Heisman Trophy winner.  He had a promising football career until 1999, when he lost his energy and began spending time smoking pot.   He never got his life back and when he died there was 55 ng. of THC in his blood.

Like Salaam, Marc Bullard was living in Colorado at the time of his death.   The Texas native had been a high school valedictorian, a successful college student and had landed a dream job.   However, he had moved to Colorado and was doing dabs.  In his journal, he recorded the downward spiral of depression and his inability to stop doing marijuana dabs.    He was 23.

A landmark study published in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal, September, 2014, tracked teenage marijuana use in Australia and New Zealand.   The subjects were tested for a variety of outcomes by age 30.  The evidence showed that consistent early use below age 18 is connected to 7x the risk of attempted suicide before age 30.

Not all suicide attempts are successful.   But it is shocking and traumatizes a family when someone attempts suicide.   Parent have written of these events and how it affects their families, I wish We had Never Moved Here and My Son’s Psychiatric Surprise.  Another striking story of survival is on the MomsStrong.org website.   Part 2 will explain more about the suicide risk with marijuana.  Part 3 will have more specific information about marijuana victims Daniel Juarez, Levy Thamba, Andy Zorn and Shane Robinson.

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Yes, Marijuana Kills and This Time it was a 16-Year-Old

There are echoes of Levy Thamba’s death in the story of a 16-year-old student in Seattle who jumped to his death after trying marijuana for the first time.  The Seattle Police Department ruled that the death of Hamza Warsame was an accident.   He had gone to the 6th floor apartment of an older classmate to work on a project.  After having marijuana, he became “frantic,” went out on the balcony and fell off the building.

Hamza Warsame’s death follows that of Levy Thamba (photo above), Luke Goodman and Justin Bondi, youths whose tragic deaths have been linked to marijuana.

Each of these deaths occurred after marijuana was legalized with commercial marijuana sales in Washington or Colorado.   Warsame was not old enough to legally purchase marijuana, but his classmate was 21 and had purchased it legally.   Last year CBS News Denver did a report on marijuana intoxication deaths which occurred before marijuana became legal in Colorado.

THC, not Anti-Islamic Hate Crime

The Seattle Police Department  announced on May 10 that the death of Warsame was the result of a fall that followed his first use of marijuana.   His death on Dec. 5 drew national attention and sparked speculation that he might have been the victim of an anti-Muslim hate crime.

HamzaWarsame
Hamza Warsame (Seattle Times- Warsame family)

The Seattle Police Department report has details of their  investigation, which came to the same conclusion as the King County Medical Examiner’s Office did in January.   The toxicology screen found “relatively high levels” of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the  psychoactive element of marijuana, in Warsame’s system.  In Washington, smoked forms of marijuana average more than 20% THC.

A native of Somalia, Warsame was an advanced high school student who was taking a college class at Seattle Central College.  Levy Thamba was an exchange student from  the Republic of Congo going to college in Wyoming.  In 2014, he jumped four stories after eating a marijuana cookie for the first time.  He was only 19, under the legal age for purchasing marijuana.

In the case of Warsame and Thamba, the reactions to marijuana were quick.   Bondi fell 150 feet to his death last year, and had used other drugs in addition to marijuana.  Goodman committed suicide a few days after ingesting marijuana edibles.

Wrongful Death Suit Against Marijuana Businesses

The parents and sister of Kristine Kirk (above photo, right) — whose husband shot her after eating marijuana candy — recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the the Kirk’s three children.    Kirk’s husband, Richard Kirk, killed his wife on April 14, 2014,  after becoming psychotic from marijuana candy.

The lawsuit claims that the company that made the marijuana edible and the store that sold the candy to Richard Kirk recklessly and purposefully failed to warn him about the bite-sized candy’s potency and side effects — including hallucinations and other psychotic behaviors.   Kristine Kirk had called 911 for help, but it was too late.

(The pictures of Levy Thamba and Kristine Kirk are from CBS News.)

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Parents’ Pot Use Leads to Neglect, Death in Fires, Part 2

(Part 1 shows child justice failures in Court. Part 2 of this series is about neglected children who died in fires. Part 3 covers children who die in hot cars and in drownings. Part 4 explains parents who are addicted or psychotic from marijuana. Part 5 shows how children die through violence related to pot. Part 6 presents a solution. Download our updated fact sheet on 80 deaths from marijuana. Read a previous article,Three Children Die in Colorado.)

43 Unnecessary Deaths, the Innocent Victims of Parents’ Pot Habits

On January 13, 2014, two-year old Levi Welton tragically died in a fire in Colorado while his parents smoked pot. Also in January, 2014, Heather Jensen was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the deaths of her sons, ages 2 and 4. The Jensen boys died in a hot car while their mom left them and smoked pot — a few weeks after Colorado’s historic vote to legalize marijuana.

The stories were in the Denver news the same month that recreational marijuana stores opened in Colorado, January 2014.  The national press ignored these two horror stories with a marijuana connection, but made a huge issue of marijuana commercialization, the story promoted by the marijuana industry. Continue reading Parents’ Pot Use Leads to Neglect, Death in Fires, Part 2

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