Toddler’s death highlights how marijuana use becomes abuse
Jesse James Bullard’s sweet smile lit the world of all those with whom he came in contact, but he lost his life abruptly on January 22. His father, Isaac, smoked a marijuana “dab” that morning, backed his car out and ran over the baby boy. Jesse was was about a month shy of his second birthday. But this was Colorado, and health officials don’t find parents’ marijuana habits unusual.
Each drug has at least one quality that makes worse than all other drugs, and for marijuana it is what it does to the teen-aged brain and motivation, according to Ed Gogek, author of Marijuana Debunked.
Problems on the San Juan Islands
Kathleen Bartholomew, a nurse and a grandmother in the San Juan Islands of Washington, explains what it’s like living in an area with long-time marijuana users: “Of the 7th grade pot users, 80% received the pot from their stoner parents.”
“My own granddaughter went from being a straight-A student skipping her sophomore year in a private school to a pot-smoking 15-year-old in the public school system. Her story started in 7th grade when a few seniors taught her how to smoke marijuana at lunch,” Bartholomew explained.
Also in the San Juan Islands, a young man with mental illness issues died tragically from dehydration in jail last year. Keaton Farris suffered from bipolar disorder; a history of marijuana use would be consistent with the tragic ending. The risks for mental illness from early marijuana use cannot be adequately addressed in an environment that glorifies pot use. (His mom sold t-shirts in his honor at Seattle Hemp Fest, which doesn’t prove that Keaton used marijuana, but suggests his family had a peculiar fondness for the weed. The family has reached a settlement in the case.)
With many parents and grandparents using pot, we seem to be creating a multi-generational society of drug addiction. Drug addiction today is multi-substance addiction, making the treatment more complicated and the prognosis worse than it was in the past.
One member of AA and Narcotics Anonymous in Chico, California, explained what happens to multi-generational drug users when they try to get clean. “I need to teach them to dress, bathe and feed the baby, brush their teeth and floss, all skills they did not learn growing up. They must start life anew.” Sobriety gives them hope.
People laud the success of anti-smoking campaigns but what has really changed youth smoking rates is the lack of adults who still smoke cigarettes. It has become socially unacceptable. How can an anti-pot campaign for kids can’t work when more adults are eating pot candy, or smoking it, and it’s advertised everywhere?
Recently a father from Washington who drove recklessly and was stoned forced his 12-year-old daughter to walk home. Some of these parents really don’t seem to be aware of the trauma they may be forcing their children to experience. Traumatized children will be more inclined to abuse marijuana, alcohol and other drugs.
We need to break cycles of addiction if we are to have healthier adults who don’t follow their parents’ dysfunctional cycles. Compared to 40 or 50 years ago when alcohol was the primary problem, we now have multi-substance addiction. If we stopped substance abuse we could end about 70% of child abuse. We will have more success in rooting out problems by getting to their roots in substance abuse, not possible when we are normalizing drug use.
Finally, we need to be in compliance with international treaties, especially The Rights of the Child Treaty, and as long as we allow marijuana legalization, we are out of compliance with the treaties. For more information, read On Marijuana, edited by Pamela McColl, and Marijuana Debunked, by Ed Gogek, MD.
It is not clear who gave or sold marijuana to Haven Dubois, a 14-year-old boy in Saskatchewan who drowned, but his mother wishes that police had investigated more thoroughly. There were other teens with him, but did the police even try to get the bottom of the issue? “It’s so easy for them to brush it aside. It’s just another dead Indian to them.” Pamela McColl of SAM Canada would like to see those who provide marijuana to teens who suffer harm held accountable, the same way those who give drinks to young people are held responsible for fatal accidents. (McColl is the editor of On Marijuana which contains important essays by international specialists such as Mary Brett of the United Kingdom.)Continue reading Children of Stoner Parents Fall, More Likely to Fail→
“More than any other demographic, seniors are poised to be the biggest pot users in America should cannabis be legalized. It’s law-abiding adults who will begin using pot in greater numbers, and the associated lameness of watching their parents ripping a bong will, if anything, probably decrease teen use.” Columnist John Michael made this claim in an article for Huffington Post.