Category Archives: Testimonies

Oregon Mom Laments the Harms brought on by legalizing pot

By Maggie

My husband and I have four sons.  Our oldest, Trevor is 16.  It gives me a great deal of pleasure and emotion to be able to write this letter, because he has overcome so much in the last six months. Since Trevor was 12 or 13, we had emotional difficulties with him and trouble in school. He started experimenting with cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana with his friends, which was a shock.  Trevor hadn’t been exposed to any substance at home, since we don’t even drink, let alone consume drugs or smoke anything.  Right about the same time, the discussion about legalization was hot, and Oregon voted to legalize marijuana in 2014.

We knew something was off with Trevor, but at first we didn’t know if it was just typical adolescent troubles, a phase, or what.  When we discovered he had been exposed to marijuana, and was using it, parenting became such a challenge.  The availability of substances became rampant in the wake of legalization, and yes it was affecting our oldest son.

The Slippery Slope

Trevor moved beyond marijuana and got involved in so much more:

  • Dealing/trading other drugs, pills and alcohol
  • Stealing from friends and family
  • Driving without a license or even a permit
  • Skipping school, lying and promiscuity

How we finally got help

The effects of drugs on the teen brain are horrific.   Many adults don’t even know, and many kids have no idea what they are doing to their brains when they’re doing pot. One must live through it in their own home, with their own child, to understand the dynamic and heartache this behavior brings.  In our situation, the county juvenile services became imperative.  We were forced to turn our own son over to authorities.   Without the police and the county services, Trevor would not have progressed so far in the right direction.

Trevor has a support system in place: parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and therapists.  Counseling was pivotal for him.  With time and much effort on everyone’s part – particularly, Trevor’s efforts, he appears as of now to be on the mend.  We’re also thankful for cognitive therapy and accountability.  It is vital that we somehow teach our kids the importance of their daily decisions and how it can impact the rest of their life.  Our culture and media influence in many cases does not help.  Our kids are being exposed to images and ideas promoting substance use.

As a mother, I’m aware that at any point this could turn and he could be headed down a dark path once again.  Trevor’s probation is over I pray he has learned some valuable lessons.  I’m on a community coalition board for a non-profit educator and our city.  I’m determined to make a difference and would like to be able to help other families as they face similar challenges in the wake of drug legalization and normalization. Our communities are up against so much in terms of our youth.  Legalizing pot is a mistake!

(We published another testimony from a parent affected by legalization in Oregon about two weeks ago, )

 

Journey of a Budtender: A Little Dab Will Do You

By Cannabis Activist

Part 3 of 5 parts of Journey of a Budtender.  Read Part 1 Part 2: Burn thru it

Our Corporation’s buds were harsh and unappealing. Plus, I had seen the mold on marijuana buds in both the cultivation center and in the dispensary.  When the Colorado ex-CEO, now a “consultant,” announced that the dispensary would be selling high potency THC concentrates, I immediately switched exclusively to concentrates. People call the concentrates wax, shatter, BHO or dabs.  A little dab went a long way.   Dabs promised to be a far “cleaner” product, and they were a “a more ‘medicinal’ way to medicate.”

I’m embarrassed to admit that I believed it would be a much safer and palatable way to ingest my Corporation’s marijuana. So gullible was I!   I believed what our “Consultant” said and did not conduct any online research whatsoever.

hard, moldy marijuana

I bought one of the dispensary’s side-car dab rigs, a butane torch, and shatter testing at over 94% THC.  Though I had consumed our dispensary’s high THC flower, doing a dab was a sensation that I had never attained with marijuana before in my entire life, or from any drug for that matter, including cocaine.  It was extremely powerful.  The phrase is “a little dab will do you,” but that’s not the mindset when one is consuming a drug that instantaneously floods your dopamine receptors in split-second, napalm upon the brain.

dangers-dabbing

How a little dab works

A little dab won’t do you.  In fact “a little dab” is quite addicting and it will do you in.

I became a great fan of high potency THC concentrates and recommended them, especially if patients told me that the flower was harsh or causing adverse effects.  To this day, I feel such guilt and shame for having sold concentrates to individuals under 18 years old.  They would come in with their parents or guardians, who would have to calm them down at my counter. I should have realized from how overexcited they became at the prospects of getting more wax or shatter, that something was wrong.

What I did may have been legal, but that didn’t make it right. I was promoting addiction.  (Read previous poppot articles about dabbing,)

selling-concentrates-minors

We have always been told marijuana should have a calming, peaceful, happy effect on people.  However, my patients and co-workers were describing being ill, they were looking unhappy and angry.  I noticed that patients who consumed dabs would be prone to IED (Intermittent Explosive Disorder) outbursts in the dispensary.  As for me, as my concentrate usage continued and escalated, my physical and mental health declined.

My physical symptoms worsened to nausea, abdominal bloating, pain in my abdomen and GI tract and urinary incontinence.  I started to experience extremely painful spasms in my calves, up to 10 times a night.  Then came the onset of constant electrical sensation and twitches in my calves. Though these symptoms were alarming, I thought that they were due to dehydration and pre-menopause and would subside.

Getting into a dark place before the light

I could perceive that my psyche had changed in a very bad way.  I was no longer desiring to do activities that once provided pleasure and joy, such as mountain biking.  My mind was hijacked. I could feel nothing whatsoever unless I was dabbing, doing it more and more but powerless to stop.  My friends detected that something was really wrong with me, later telling me “that dab had a hold of you.” But no one knew how  dark and disturbed my thoughts had become.

dabbing-effects

I had started to experience escalating thoughts of committing violent actions.  First I was vividly daydreaming about vandalizing cars, then beating people with a baseball bat, then shooting people with a gun.  After dabbing for 9 months, I felt completely devoid of spirit, truly despising myself and on the brink of suicide.  Non-violent person by nature and a yoga practitioner for 20 years, I would rather end my life than take another.

So close was I to falling off the cliff of sanity.  I was teetering on the precipice of a psychotic break or suicide until that fateful day in the dispensary, when I watched a co-worker.  I saw the look of sheer worry and concern in her eyes when interacting with patients describing adverse effects from products. At long last it woke me up that something was really wrong.   A little dab will never satisfy you, as you want and crave more.  When you dab, you’re incapable of perceiving its great harm upon your body, mind and spirit. 

(To read how the story continues, see Part 4  and Part 5).

(We have two other testimonies specifically about dabbing, My  16-year-old son died from marijuana  and  Dabbing is addictive.)

Journey of a Budtender: Burn Thru it

 by Cannabis Activist

Part 2, Read Part 1  

Quite the evangelical in the Cult of Cannabis, I would do anything for this opportunity to work in a dispensary.  But I should have known better.   When I researched the Corporation prior to my interview, I read that the founding Colorado CEO had to step down once it was discovered that he had lied on the application.  The Corporation’s CFO, who was an ex-credit card marketer and did not use marijuana, then became the new CEO.  The Corporation founded on an untruth did not bode well and there was cause for concern, but I discounted those thoughts and went to the interview.  Should I just burn thru it?

At the interview, the Corporation stressed that it was the “best of the best” of “medical” marijuana dispensaries.  Continue reading Journey of a Budtender: Burn Thru it

Journey of a Budtender: A Budtender is Born

By Cannabis Activist

Part 1.

Why on earth would a budtender, an extremely passionate supporter and user of marijuana ever write an article for PopPot?  This true believer had used marijuana off and on for decades, and so believed in the efficacy of marijuana as a “medicine,” that I left the field of physical therapy to work as a Registered Marijuana Dispensary Agent (aka budtender) in a Massachusetts “medical” marijuana dispensary.  It took 1.5 years working there and sustaining physical and mental harm before I woke up.  The “treacherous” marijuana industry, whose only concern is for profits at the expense of patient health, was very alluring. This cannabis supporter bought its enticing lure — hook, line and sinker.”

I was one of the most pro-marijuana individuals you could ever meet, quite the cannabis enthusiast Continue reading Journey of a Budtender: A Budtender is Born