Open Letter to the Person who Called me Failed Parent

Please share this post with every concerned parent you know! Spread the Word about Pop Pot!

By Sally Schindel

I belong to the club no one wants to join. My son died by suicide in March 2014 at age 31. I have since met other mothers enduring this life change and trying to heal as I am. I find we mothers feel and behave like all mothers – trying desperately to protect our young. We protect children we still have and others threatened by the same harm that took our children. Some of us behave like badgers – we are serious and a force to be reckoned with. Like disturbing a bees nest – we go to work to rebuild our lives honoring our children that left us far too young.  (Read Sally’s previous testimony, Who Said No One Ever Died from Marijuana?)

Listen to Sally’s recent interview here.

My son left a note that included these words “Marijuana killed my soul + ruined my brain.” My son desperately tried to break his marijuana addiction in his last days. Whenever I hear and read the words that marijuana has never killed anyone, is harmless, is not addictive, my heart hurts.

My new friends in the club no one wants to join and I work to educate others, especially other young people and the medical profession. There is a strong relationship between marijuana use and psychosis and suicide. But a terrible thing happens when we speak out. When we publish our stories, offered in efforts to protect and educate others, the comments that ensue in social media are brutal.

We have been called liars.  I have been named #FailedParent. Commenters diagnose our children, usually with PTSD and mental illness and claim marijuana should not be blamed.  Since he was a veteran, I have been told George Bush killed my son. I have been told I killed my son.

I volunteer with an organization that fights to educate young people about substance abuse. My organization has been criticized for taking advantage of me and my son and told they should be ashamed of doing that.

Who attacks well meaning parents and community service organizations working for public health? I am never approached personally, thank goodness. You attackers make it clear you support legalizing drugs, claiming that will be safer for our children. I cannot understand that. Especially now that I look at that from the perspective of a mother missing her wonderful son who should still be here today.

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9 thoughts on “Open Letter to the Person who Called me Failed Parent”

  1. You are very good to talk about this. Just reading the comments is disturbing. I am a retired university professor now 73. I never did drugs, or drank, but have seen many students over the years and how it robs them of their ambition. I have seen terrible repercussions of drug use.
    Now retired I have cancer and see a push to give marijuana to cure cancer. This is disturbing to me. It’s a snake oil.
    I appreciate you speaking out and I am very sorry for your loss.

  2. Mam sorry hear about your son, but you cant blame marijuana for his death as he did because he was trying to find something to blame his mental illness and emotional rollercoaster on. Dont you see the connections. He fought in the war etc. He wasnt strong enough so he had to do one last brave act. End the pain that his life brought him. Marijuana thc cbd cbn in it self cannot be overdosed on. I believe ppl are abusing the thc in pot by ingesting too much in.edibleds without having have smoked the bud first a few times to.get use and because these newbies to pot are injesting too many edibles bad things have happened like jumping off a building. But than again millions of others have taken edibles before and just had a great time. Sooo were these cases of ppl who were already feeling suicidal…ppl die many ways…sober or not…by someone else or themselves….cars…on.bikes…hiking…in waters….ur son shouldnt have been on pot nor left alone if he was feeling that low. But its too late. I know you miss him but dont blame his suicide on marijuana like he did. For all u know he wasnt telling truth about tht. It was more than just weed and you and I and everyone should able see and know that is true. He did what he had to do. Suicide is not a selfish act just a one last brave one for someone dealing with rough emotions and days n nights with no fullfillment or bad memories of the past n lost hope for.the.future. Rest in peace to your son mam but marijuana helps alot of ppl….for example…its the lost cure to cancer thc n cbd, helps.gluacoma, seizures, depression,.appetite, anxiety, stress, tummy aches, ppl suffering from stuttering and the shakes…new research out there online says it helps patients who.suffer from.diabetes. its the wonder drug you see now. But ur son using marijuana unsupervised or at all might not have been right for him. Marijuana obviouly didnt kill.his brain or soul. Life in usa did. And his life him. And once the mj wasnt enough to fill the holes in his heart n life he went took his own n decided blame it on his.choice of.drug.out of rage. Rip bro. We all must die. Its the price we pay for our sins. Period. -Bryan, 23, lotta times sad n hopeless, lotta time laughing out.having a good time…call it.bipolar blame it.on the times n my career choices…money, no gf, blame it on whatever. Lotta things in this country cause sadness n anger everyday so thats why I like to smoke a little krippy weed sometimes help calm the pain and mundaneness of everyday life in america. God bless everyone. God put indica n sativa n runderalis plants down here for medecine. So dont abuse it or your freewill. Because even though God gave us many things and abilities God and.everone knows to.hurt the human…even end its own or others lifes.

  3. Sally, I am sorry for your loss and am glad to hear you are advocating against the proliferation of marijuana. I got sober from marijuana and everything else back in 1987 and have stayed sober ever since. It is sad to see the kids these days who don’t realize the dangers of marijuana, because we live in a society promoting the concept that marijuana is somehow “medicinal.”

    Because I am active in recovery meetings (Rae is my pen name and I am therefore anonymous here) I see many young people trying to stay sober. Often they will “go back out” because they will smoke pot, not understanding at all that it is a drug. Lots of them grew up with parents that smoked pot with them, so they think cigarettes are far more harmful and don’t comprehend that pot is a gateway drug.

    Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience. It is a message that needs to be heard throughout the nation. We are asleep at the wheel because so many people are high on weed. You are helping to get the message out that marijuana addiction has three phases: Phase 1 is “fun,” Phase 2 is “fun, with problems,” and Phase 3 is “problems – no fun.”

    1. Thank you Rae. I recently told Andy’s Story to a large group of vets in recovery. One called me afterward to tell me he had started pot use at age 13 and wanted me to hear from him that the drug marijuana is definitely a gateway drug.
      Thank you for speaking out. With enough of us saying “wait a minute…what about the harms?” we may wake up the sleeping media and find our voices being heard. Please keep sharing Rae and congratulations on your sobriety. I know it is a hard fought battle.

  4. As a victim of sexual abuse daily for the first 14 years of my life I can honestly say that without marijuana I would have committed suicide!, I’m sorry to say but there had to be something else going on in his life!

    1. A good and effective therapist could have have saved you. There are therapists especially trained for childhood sexual abuse. We realize
      there also needs to be a personality match, and we’re very sorry if you did not find a good therapist who could help you.

  5. So sorry for your loss. I grew up when pot was a park of teenagehood and sadly saw many who carried the habit into adulthood. Several friends dead before we reached fifty, broken marriages, lost promises of bright futures. I’m an RN and find it appalling how many medical professionals feel it should be legalized.

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