Category Archives: Child Endangerment

Horrible child abuse death in Texas highlights links to marijuana

A Texas man fatally stabbed his 16-month-old son, yelling “Jesus is coming,” in Lewisville, outside of Dallas, on August 19. Authorities say 27-year-old Blair Ness is charged in the death of his toddler son Ashton Ness.

Photo from Dallas News, Ashley Landis, Staff Photographer

Police say they found “fresh burnt marijuana as well as a haze of smoke in the apartment,” and blood in multiple areas of the apartment.  Ness started his attack inside and then continued outside in a courtyard.  A neighbor shot the father in his leg to stop the killing.

The man told police, “I know everyone’s mad, I’m mad. I killed my son.”   A caller to 911  expresses the disbelief and absurdity of the situation.  We send our condolences to the mother and the family.

Blair Ness, the father accused of stabbing his son, had no previous child abuse incidents or problems with the law

The incident suggests a marijuana-induced psychosis, a problem that figures in about 10% of the child abuse deaths Parents Opposed to Pot has tracked.

In Vermont last year, a father – in the midst of psychosis — jumped four stories with his 6-year-old son.  Anxious and suicidal, Tyler Denning had been smoking marijuana that morning, and claimed that God made him do it.  Fortunately, both father and son survived.

Death Highlights Cannabis’ role in Texas child-abuse death

In March, Texas released its report on child abuse deaths, finding half the 172 child abuse deaths in 2017 coupled with substance abuse.  Marijuana was the most-used substance connected to child abuse and neglect deaths, followed by alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine.  In one terrible case last year, Cynthia Randolph left her 1-year old and 2-year-old in the car while she smoked pot.  Both children died.

According to the report, of the deaths caused by parent or caregiver substance abuse, 56 used marijuana; 23 used alcohol; 16 involved cocaine; 14 were linked to methamphetamine, 2 involved opiates and 1 was connected to heroin.   Many abusers were co-abusing substances, such as combining marijuana and cocaine.

In 2017, Arizona also published a report showing that marijuana was the substance most often linked to child abuse deaths in 2016.

When will the public wake up?

Those who say that marijuana makes people calm misunderstand how cannabis works on their brain.   People who advocate for “responsible” use of marijuana need to cut out the delusion and misrepresentation. Popular magazines such as Oprah, Allure and Cosmopolitan present marijuana use as glamorous or at the cutting edge of our culture.  A California company MedMen, aka The Mad Men of Marijuana, aggressively tries to rebrand the stoner image.

In Atlantic Magazine last week, Annie Lowrey wrote an article  exposing the truth about marijuana addiction.  While the author tells the truth about addiction, she opines that marijuana is relatively benign compared to alcohol and tobacco. She may be basing her belief on old information, when 3 or 4% of the population used weed, vs. 65% using alcohol.  Marijuana is far more toxic to the brain than tobacco.

Meanwhile, our country focuses on opiate addiction, instead of  poly-drug  abuse.

In Pennsylvania, a child died because her mom gave her a drink laced with fentanyl and then smoked marijuana.  Although the fentanyl killed the girl, the mom’s marijuana use is loosely related to the death, although Poppot is not counting it in its total of 115 deaths.

 

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More child abuse deaths related to marijuana

At least two more child abuse deaths related to marijuana use occurred in May.   In Florida, Charles Lee left a baby, aged one,  alone.  He went into the front yard to smoke pot with a 15-year-old and the baby drowned in a backyard pool.  It is not clear what Charles Lee’s relationship is to the parents, but they had entrusted him with the child at the time.

In Salt Lake City, a father smoked pot and fell asleep on the floor.  He left out a loaded gun and his two year-old shot himself.    Both these incidents reflect the irresponsibility, forgetfulness and selfishness that surround using pot.  Unfortunately, the victims are so young.

Parents Opposed to Pot has found 11 incidences of children drowning in pools, five of them in Florida and two in California. Continue reading

1000 Bibs Placed over Dispensaries in Denver

Doctors tell women not to smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol when pregnant, so why would anyone think it’s ok to smoke pot?   It turns out that 69% of marijuana dispensaries in Colorado were giving this bad advice.

Marijuana Accountability Coalition (MAC), in partnership with Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), launched the “Don’t Hurt Our Future” Campaign.  CBS TV in Denver featured their activity on the nightly news.  Watch the video of May 30, 2018 from the TV clip:

Coalition Places Baby Bibs On Marijuana Dispensary Doors

As recently reported, nearly 70% percent of marijuana dispensaries in Colorado were found to be recommending high-potency THC products to mothers. These dispensaries and some websites promote pot as a remedy for symptoms of morning sickness.

Volunteers from MAC and SAM began at the governor’s mansion and distributed 1,000 bibs on the doors of pot dispensaries in Colorado.

The problems with marijuana in pregnancy

According to the Centers for Disease Controlmarijuana use during pregnancy could result in low birth weight and other developmental issues in the womb.   Parents Opposed to Pot tracks reports of babies who died in infancy because the moms smoked pot during pregnancy.  Pot smoking leads to low birth weights and more fragile babies.   Nine of 106 child abuse deaths we found over five years included low birth-weight babies who had THC in their system.

Pregnant women need to be educated, but not shamed.  Many of these women are victims of bad information and it’s not their fault.  Our website provides several resources for pregnant and breastfeeding women.   Let’s not exaggerate the possible dangers, but women need to know they risk certain heart defects, cancers in their babies.

We live in a time period in which some people trust ganjapreneurs, but don’t trust doctors.  Marijuana dispensaries do not require scientific or medical training to give out medical advice. They require that workers are 21 years or older, but nothing else.  Doctors, on the other hand, have years of intense education and professional organizations back up their claims.   Both groups are out to make money, but which group has the most quacks?

“The marijuana industry will stop at nothing to make a buck,” said Justin Luke Riley, founder of the MAC. “Going against all available science, the industry is now recommending pot for pregnant women. They must be held accountable for their actions and not simply be given a slap on the wrist. They are actively putting their profits ahead of the healthy development of future Coloradans.”

Explosions last weekend highlight Michigan’s problem controlling BHO

Two explosions in one weekend

Two Butane Hash Oil (BHO) explosions ignited in Michigan last weekend, when amateurs were attempting to extract THC from marijuana to make “dabs.”  Michigan’s BHO problem will grow into a bigger problem, because legalizers succeeded in getting marijuana on the ballot in November.  (Read this article to understand the difference between decriminalization and legalization.)

On Saturday, January 20 in Orion Township, a tenant was making BHO  when he suddenly tried to light a cigarette, and everything exploded. The “victim”/maker of the substance was badly burned on his arms and face.   He’s been hospitalized, but the other four roommates made  it out of the house unharmed. Continue reading