Amid a renewed push to legalize marijuana federally, California has suspended 407 marijuana business licenses, affecting about five percent of legal cannabis supply chains, ranging from manufacturers to retailers.
Impaired babysitters are a new problem, as the laws across the country continue to advance the cause of marijuana legalization. About half the Americans now want to legalize the drug, because the marijuana lobbyists have invented the idea it is safer than alcohol. Their propaganda comes with a cost in terms of driving deaths and child deaths from abuse or neglect.
One such instance happened in Palm Bay, Florida when babysitter Jacqueline Bjorndal used marijuana, alcohol, and meth at a party the night before she was supposed to watch a little girl. The following day she showed up to work and was instructed to not let the child go near the pool because she could not swim.
During the course of the day the child asked if she could go outside near the pool to pet the family pig to which Bjorndal said she could.
Minutes went by and there was no sign of the child anywhere so Jacqueline called her roommate over and they continued searching for another 20 minutes or so. Eventually, the roommate looked in the bottom of the dirty pool and saw the outline of the child.
Police reports say that there was a bunch of debris and hoses loosely scattered around the pool. The babysitter has been charged with Aggravated Manslaughter by Neglect of a Child. In the state of Florida if you are convicted of that charge you are likely to expect a: Minimum-mandatory 16 ¾ years in prison, you can receive up to Life in prison, Up to Life on probation & Up to $10,000 in fines.
Another babysitter Went Out to Smoke Pot
There was a case in San Diego where a teen-aged girl was hired to babysit a 16-month-old old toddler. While at the house, the baby was playing inside with his slightly over sister. The girl got a call from her aunt, stepped outside, and the two females smoked pot out in the car. The baby come out of the house and walked into the behind the car as the visitor’s car pulled away. The baby was killed. However, two California juries acquitted the babysitter. The sitter’s first error in judgement was thinking that she could leave the toddler out of her sight. We don’t know how much time she spent in the car, but smoking marijuana distorts time.
Both these horrendous deaths occurred because young people have been told marijuana is harmless.
Babysitter Ate Pot Cookies by Mistake
In another case in Palm Beach, Florida, the roles got reversed. The mother of the house had gone out and hired a babysitter for the evening and at some point she went into the refrigerator and ate one of the homemade cookies that were in there.
The cookies, unfortunately, had been laced with marijuana which caused the victim to start hallucinating.
The police report stated she felt like she was going to die and kept thinking that she had a brain tumor. The babysitter was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Police spoke to the mother and she said, of course, “that she had never seen the cookies before.” But, when police talked to the children they were aware to not eat the homemade ones but to only eat the store brand ones.
This is not just negligent because the babysitter got sick, it is also because the container was within the children’s reach. This was noted in the police report and relayed to the Department of Children and Families. Hopefully somebody will follow up with the case.
Trusted Sitter Believed in “Harmless Herb” Message in Missouri
Another instance occurred in St. Louis Missouri after a 10-month child was found with a fractured skull after the child care provider had left for the day. Katie Hartwig, 31, was arrested after the girl’s mother found her, “sleeping face down on a couch.”
Hartwig was no stranger to the family as she had been taking care of the baby for most of the past year. The family thought this was completely out of character for her.
“Our sweet baby Quinn was abused by her babysitter who was also our family friend. We are all so devastated and still in shock. Her skull was shattered by a person we cared for and trusted. She has a long recovery and between medical bill and time off work we would be so grateful for any help.”
Katie was arrested and charged with first-degree felony child abuse and misdemeanor counts of child endangerment and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The “reason” Katie gives for injuring the child is because she wouldn’t stop crying.
These are just a few examples of completely irresponsible behavior that cannot go on while raising or taking care of a child. Marijuana should not be around at all in a household especially when others can mistakenly gain access to it.
Child Abuse Deaths Have Been Caused by Babysitters who Toked
As of January 1, 2017 Parents Opposed to Pot traced 80 deaths to child abuse and neglect by parents or caregivers under the influence of marijuana. In three cases, the babysitters stopped paying attention when the children who died. In Florida, babysitters were the responsible party in two of the deaths by drowning. In California, a sitter left the toddler and went outside to smoke pot in the car of a visitor. But the 16-month-old boy wandered outside and was hit by the car when the visitor back out and left.
Many of the marijuana-related deaths, about 15% of them, occurred because of the mothers’ irresponsible or abusive boyfriends. It’s not clear how many of these were boyfriends who had been babysitters. However, we are creating a sad society in which a mother puts her precious baby in the care of irresponsible drug users. These deaths point to another reason we should caution people not to date marijuana users.
Children testing positive for THC
Recently in Nebraska a babysitter has been investigated after a child in her care tested positive for THC. The girl was taken to the emergency room where doctors determined that the 2-year-old was suffering from exposure to the psychoactive ingredient.
After the police investigated more into the matter it was discovered that the day care provider had baked marijuana brownies and used the same pan to make some cookies for the kids to eat throughout the day.
The babysitter was ticketed for suspicion of child abuse and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services issued an emergency order to close the daycare.
Children’s minds are molded by what they experience in the household and if this type of behavior is displayed in front of them at an early age, they will begin to accept its normality.
While it is considered the norm to hire a neighbor or good friend you have known for awhile it is always important to really know a good amount about the person before letting them take care of somebody you love.
Today’s teens do not realize the consequences of smoking and then being around small children or infants. Many parents also don’t realize the problem.
The notion that marijuana is considered harmless has caused a number of tragedies and it leads babysitters (and other professionals) to believe that they are not impaired.
Wasn’t legalization going to solve these problems? No, because “wax,” “shatter,” “budder” — the products made from BHO and sold in dispensaries — are more expensive than homemade stuff.
On November 2, seven days before pot became legal, a BHO fire exploded a car in Arcata, CA. A similar fire on January 14, 2017, totaled a home near Arcata in Humboldt County, injuring two people. It was the fourth BHO lab discovered in Humboldt County since legalization. (The photo above is from a car fire in Arcata on November 2, 2016.)
(Part two of Marijuana and Child Neglect/Abuse. Last week we published an article about neglect; this week we cover violence, anger and explosions.) A 15-year old boy living in fear of his violent father was afraid to go home and confided in a friend’s family. The friend’s mom told police, who went to investigate the child abuse. They found out more, accidentally discovering an illegal, indoor marijuana grow. Yet marijuana activists tell us they are calm and non-violent.
Butane hash oil explosions are another way children surrounded by marijuana face grave danger. In Medford, Oregon, a 12-year old girl suffered many broken bones when she had to jump from the 2nd floor of the apartment building to escape the flames.
After three children died in Colorado because of parental neglect while parents smoked pot followed by a string of hash oil explosions with children at home, it should have been easy to pass child protection laws in Colorado. On April 27, 2014, an 8-month old baby had be rescued from the 2nd floor of a burning townhouse in Littleton, after a father and his girlfriend sparked a fire by burning hash oil. The neighbor whose adjoining townhouse was damaged rescued their 4-year old. Just 10 days earlier, on the 17th of April, a couple in Colorado Springs endangered their 3 children, the oldest a 7-year old, using fire to make dabs from hash oil.
Since the Alliance for Drug Endangered Children began in the 1990s, there are fewer meth lab explosions. Instead, the promotion and legalization of marijuana has created one of its most dangerous by-products: hash oil explosions fueled by butane gas. In short, it’s called BHO.
Hash Oil Explosions
As of early May, Colorado had experienced 31 hash oil explosions in 2014, 10 of them involving serious burns. The Colorado Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (CoDEC) has been taking steps protect children from the drug-using parents, but two child-protection bills failed to pass.
On April 1, 2014, state Senators Linda Newell and Andy Kerr introduced two Senate bills to strengthen protections for children whose parents’ drug usage, manufacture or cultivation put them in danger. Unfortunately, an associate of the Drug Policy Alliance had written a letter to the Denver Postimplying it was unfair to marijuana users.
The bills HB 177 and 178 were voted down at the beginning of May. The outcome was undermined by interests of the marijuana industry, marijuana users and politics. When the city of Denver met September 16 to restrict unqualified individuals from making hash oil — the marijuana activists again objected.
After Failure to Pass Child Protection Bills
In mid-May, a Manitou Springs, Colorado, couple cooled the hash oil in the refrigerator. The refrigerator door blew off and landed on the woman’s three-year old child. Multiple charges of arson and child endangerment have been leveled against each of the parents in Colorado who put the lives of their children in danger. They are indeed lucky that none of the children burned or died in the fires.
Making hash oil at home is perfectly legal in Colorado. However, the state of Colorado should be blamed for putting the marijuana users’ freedom and the “good name” or reputation of marijuana ahead of the children. The evidence is that the legalization of marijuana has put more children in harm’s way.
Huge Problem in Other States, in West
Hash oil explosions are frequent in other states, too, particularly on the west coast. On August 25, a man living in Santa Rosa, California, had an explosion and burned badly. While he did not have children, the family next door with 5 children were put in the line of danger. Today, the LA Times reportsof 20 hash oil explosions within the last year in San Diego County, California. One of the 4 groups currently under investigation involved a child put in danger, and the offending party has been charged with child endangerment.
In May, the Oregonian reported that nine major hash oil blasts had occurred in Oregon since 2011, four of them in homes or hotel rooms where children, including a newborn, were present. In one case, a 12-year-old girl suffered multiple broken bones after leaping from the second floor of an apartment building rocked by a butane hash oil (BHO) explosion.
Last year a 10-day old and one-year old baby and two women suffered injuries from a hash oil explosion in Forest Grove, Oregon, the site of another extensive fire from making hash oil in January, 2014. Two months ago, on July 22, it was announced that the District Attorney in Seattle filed charges against seven who caused explosions in the state of Washington.
Marijuana users like to claim they don’t get mad and violent, like the cocaine addicts and some alcoholics routinely do. If their marijuana usage leads to explosions, selfishness, abandonment, or narcissistic rage and anger, they fall into the same violent category as other substance abusers.
A case of violent child abuse erupted in Tampa, Florida in June. Christopher Finlayson, who babysat an 11-month old girl, tried to amuse her by tossing the child into the air. He tripped and dropped the child face-first onto the floor. When the child continued to cry, Finlayson went into a moment of rage and he “lost it.” The baby was totally unresponsive when the mother returned home. She took her to the hospital and authorities were called. The man admitted he had smoked a “blunt and a half” of marijuana the previous day and was unable to sleep the night before the incident.
Just a few days ago when police in Nevada went to investigate a case a suspected child abuse, they discovered a fetus in the freezer, with a gun and marijuana in the bassinet. This year authorities in Utah discovered that Megan Huntsman, heavy marijuana user, had buried 6 of her children over several years.
In July, four adults in south Modesto, California, pleaded no contest to severely beating a 7-week old girl. The child had several broken ribs, a lacerated liver and spleen and swelling on her brain. When authorities investigated the home 3 were used for growing marijuana for sale. They parents were charged with two counts of child cruelty, illegally growing with intent for sale, stealing electricity and damaging power lines.
According to a recent article “chronic [marijuana] users exhibit blunted emotional reaction to threat stimuli, which may also decrease the likelihood of aggressive behavior.” This study is one of many articles or studies using data while trying to promote marijuana usage. The study didn’t show what happens when one partner does marijuana while the other does not, sometimes a problem in abusive marriages. It also did not track child abuse.
Why is marijuana likely to make some people violent, if using can cause a “blunted emotional reaction to threat?” The nature of a psychologically addictive substance is that a person needs it to feel ok and to feel normal. Take it away and there can be panic which results in anger. Leah Allen tells the storyof how her cool, chronically high father abused her mother. Furthermore, disagreeing with the marijuana bloggers gets them so riled and angry.
What About DEA mistakes?
The tragedies of children lost to parents’ marijuana usage, and other drug usage, are larger than the widely-publicized mistakes made by the Drug Enforcement Agency, DEA. No teacher, parent, police agency, politician or worker of any sort is free from making mistakes. This summer a story spread about a failed raid which resulted in a grenade hitting a 20-month old child. It’s regretful that there was an injustice suffered by this child for that mistake. However, this baby and his parents will have their justice with law. There will be no justice for the marijuana – endangered children, as long as the marijuana community holds all the cards.
It’s a tragedy that because “Drug Wars Don’t Work,” Americans have legitimized a very dangerous drug. It’s a tragedy that the current anti-government trend spreading in American political circles also leads to more chaos and more abused children.
Based on the fire, anger, rage and explosions, we cannot continue this marijuana experiment if we are to have a saner, safer society.