I disagree with letter writer Larry Havard’s view that legalizing recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania would be a “win-win” solution to the financial problems of Erie’s schools.
I am a former Erieite now living in a state that has legalized both medical and so-called recreational marijuana. I have peacefully protested at two downtown pot shops in Spokane.
While protesting, I have seen young people who appear to be minors waiting outside the pot shop or going around the corner while a companion with the required ID goes in and buys marijuana. When I informed a pot shop owner about this, she told me that once their product leaves the store, it’s out of their hands.
The fact is that pot shops are unable to keep their products out of the hands, bodies and brains of minors, who are most vulnerable to marijuana’s harmful effects. This, in my opinion, is reason enough to overturn the legalization of so-called recreational marijuana where legalization has been approved. Young minds and lives matter.
I do not want a continuation of the war on drugs that has targeted and imprisoned the poor and especially people of color. Alternatives to arrest and jail for nonviolent drug crimes exist and should be expanded.
— KH, Spokane, Washington (we are leaving out his full name to protect his identity)
Callous Disregard for Human Life in Pursuit of Profit and Getting Stoned
In California, a mother will soon go on trial for the drunk driving crash that killed her daughter and daughter’s friend. The girls were skateboarding on a rural road in Humboldt County when a vehicle hit them. Toxicology reports revealed that the 14-year-old girls had THC in their blood. Marci Kitchen allegedly fled the scene of the accident on July 12, 2016 and tried to get rid of the pot in the car. A judge has called for a jury to decide if she’s guilty of drunk driving and homicide.
In Washington, a man high on marijuana killed policeman Jake Gutierrez. He was holding his 6-year-old daughter while in a standoff with multiple police that lasted 10 hours. The perpetrator claimed to be a sheriff named “Zeus.” Bruce Randall Johnson, 38, had been unraveling for weeks before police fired the shots that killed him. “A regular marijuana user, he’d been smoking more lately,” according to KIRO 7. The autopsy revealed: “Johnson’s body weighed in at a spindly 104 pounds. He had no drugs in his system, apart from high concentrations of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.”
In March, Brandon Powell, an 18-year-old, went psychotic after smoking marijuana “dabs ” in Estacada, Oregon. He left home barefoot in pajama bottoms and went missing until found dead in a river earlier this month. Also in Estacada last weekend, a man carried a severed head into a convenience store and stabbed a store clerk. The incident happened after a woman was reported dead in her home. She was the mother of 36-year-old Joshua Lee Webb who has been connected to the crime. He allegedly killed his mother first. Nothing in reports links the killing to marijuana.
It might be easy to pass judgment on people like Marci Kitchen and Bruce Johnson, but what about state policy that normalizes marijuana use? Kitchen grew pot beside her garage, but she lives in a county where everyone does it.
Murders under the influence of marijuana often happen because the perpetrators become psychotic and hallucinate.
In Wisconsin recently, a mother murdered her toddler after smoking pot. In West Virginia, the “Pretty Little Killers” planned and killed a friend under the influence of marijuana. It is easy to judge and condemn the perpetrators of violent crimes, but what of the culture that promotes marijuana? What of the culture that tells 14-year-olds it’s ok to get stoned and go skateboarding?
Profit Before People Drives the Legalization Ballots
Marijuana-induced insanity is recognized in every part of the world except North America. It appears that the United States and Canada prioritize profit over mental health, safety and human life. Voters pass these ballots even though there is no definitive, reliable test to detect stoned drivers, as there is for drunk drivers.
Legislative analysis for California Proposition 64 was written to emphasize that the state could earn 1 billion dollars annually.
The California government obviously thinks the tax money the state can earn from intoxication and addiction is the highest priority. The opening statement on the ballot to legalize marijuana used profit as motivating reason to legalize. That’s government motivated by preying on its own people. The press is guilty of the same mentality that emphasizes profits over human costs.
Press Ignored Child Abuse Deaths in Colorado; Will Cover-up Continue?
When marijuana stores opened in Colorado in January 2014, a toddler died in a fire while his parents smoked pot in another room. The mother was a medical marijuana cardholder, and the press should have covered the incident. During the same month another mother who smoked pot while her two sons died of carbon monoxide poisoning went on trial. These stories were in the local Press, but did not make national news.
According to NBC News, the driver who rammed into crowds in Times Square yesterday admitted to smoking marijuana before driving. He killed an 18-year-old girl and injured 22 others. Condolences to the heart-broken family of Alyssa Elsman. Other news services reported “he smoked something” or “mind-altering drug” or “synthetic marijuana.” Are they covering up behalf of the pot industry? Like the New York Times, do they want to legalize marijuana and try to downplay the bad news about pot?
When stoners argue in favor of legalization, they use the deaths caused by alcohol to promote their cause. The truth is that neither drunk driving nor stoned driving should be tolerated. But marijuana has more of a propensity to cause madness and psychosis. National policy which refuses to warn the public, along with states that promote a dangerous drug industry, share the blame for deaths.
No state successfully regulates to keep potent marijuana extracts — as used by Brandon Powell — away from teens. Those who value profit and tax money over people claim legalization is successful. Sadly, profit over human life is becoming the American way.
Marijuana Dispensaries have been open for three years in Washington and it’s taken legislators this long to crack down on billboards. Last week that passed a bill aimed at making the the signs less appealing to children.
Legislators passed SB 3151 which will try to limit how marijuana companies can advertise on billboards The sign for Green Lady Buds in Olympia uses sex appeal to portray a certain image (pictured above). Another sign that some people found inappropriate to young audiences had a large cat saying, “I’m so high right meow.”
State Rep. Joyce McDonald of Puyallup, introduced the bill. She said, “The people who have called me from my district are very concerned because every time they drive past, the billboards are in their face” Concerned about impressionable children learning to read, McDonald wanted to ban all the marijuana advertising on the billboards. She doesn’t understand why the state prohibits such advertisements for cigarettes, but allows them for weed. Under a 1998 settlement agreement reached with 46 states, including Washington, tobacco companies agreed to stop using billboards to advertise their products.
I am not a long-time user. I used casually for about six months, but then suddenly had a terrible experience with marijuana-induced psychosis. I had moved from a state where is was illegal, to Washington. A dispensary sold me something incredibly strong just recently, in March. It was a joint mixed with a marijuana wax- I didn’t even know what that was. I was SO naive, but there is literally NOTHING out there that lets consumers know that ANYthing even remotely bad can happen.
As long as I didn’t drive under the influence, what could go wrong? I thought all pot was “safe.” The irony is that I am nearly 40, a stay-at-home mom with honor roll kids, no history, ZERO history with drug usage, or ANY depression, mental illness etc etc.. NONE. I never used marijuana before I moved to Washington. I literally just set out to listen to music and unwind while I got the house clean….awaiting the arrival of my husband who was gone on a business trip. My kids were on Spring break, at a friend’s house.
About halfway through I felt very dizzy and unbalanced… So I thought I just needed to sit down, or maybe eat.. I looked at the glass of wine I had poured… and dumped it in the drain…. Then I had a sudden disturbing image of myself biting THROUGH the wine glass… It came over and over. Bite the glass….. the words wouldn’t leave my head…. I’m biting glass. My heart began to race, my hands began to shake. I felt freezing cold, yet was sweating. Then I was feeling a sudden surge of Adrenalin and was panic stricken. I began having suicidal ideations, in MINUTES…
Shooting Myself and Biting Glass
Over and over and over… shoot yourself… bite through the glass… shoot yourself…and much worse.. it was as if a tape of my worst nightmares were playing over and over and over again in my head…and it was just as physical as it was psychological….. With absolute sincerity, I tell you that I barely made it through that night alive, and even the subsequent days and weeks… I still suffered terrible suicidal ideation……….
NEVER, ever did I have suicidal thoughts or feelings in my life. I am happy, well-adjusted, and a warm, outgoing person with lots of friends and a solid marriage.
Within days I began researching, because I KNEW what I had experienced was from smoking…again, I reiterate, I had nothing else in my system or history to indicate otherwise….and there it was.. All the research indicating that it WAS the pot.. Marijuana-induced psychosis is a proven thing and all too common. There is ZERO safety put in place in these recreational pot stores. They don’t warn a consumer about strength, concentration or side effects. It as if you are buying a glass of milk to them!! I later found out that marijuana wax is known as a “dab” and I am still unsure of what they really are…
No Warnings Against Psychosis!
The ER in Olympia Washington sees on average TWO cases of marijuana-induced psychosis a DAY!! Yet we don’t hear of this!? Why not? I would have NEVER tried any medicine or drink that could even remotely do this to me, but thought I was using something as harmless as a glass of wine because they say it is. I can’t even fully describe the horror of that night as it’s very, very hard to revisit. Thank you for warning people. I am glad I was able to use some of the resources and information you have shared to help recover…….People need to know. Marijuana can be deadly. I almost lost everything to very casual use.
I am lucky to have health insurance and lucky that my husband could be with me. My husband had to take an entire week off to stay home with me! Again how fortunate I am and I’m in the position to have someone that could do that.
I am lucky in that I am NOT an addict or addicted to it. So not using isn’t an issue….. I would never smoke pot again, but the suicidal ideation was so intense and such a terrible and traumatic experience…. It is hard to describe how horrific it is was and I’d rather be tortured than ever experience that again…. I just never thought that was even possible…. From BK, Washington