Tag Archives: Arizona

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.

 

Mass Illnesses Due to Marijuana Edibles, Brownies, Candy

Mass Illness from Marijuana Edibles in San Francisco

There’s more potential for overdose from edibles than smoked marijuana, although the teen in Seattle who jumped to his death last December did it after smoking pot for the first time.  Two shocking incidents in California suggest that overdose emergencies will increase if that states vote to legalize marijuana in November.  Here’s a summary of recent cases of toxicity from edibles:

    • 19 people were hospitalized in San Francisco on August 7 from THC, after attending a quinceañera party.  The source is believed be marijuana-infused candies, perhaps gummy bears. Several children were among those poisoned, one as young as six.  A 9-year-old had severe difficulty breathing.
    • A JAMA Pediatrics article explains the dramatic rise in children’s hospitalizations related to marijuana in Colorado since legalization.  In 10 cases, the product was not in a child-resistant container; in 40 scenarios (34%) there was poor child supervision or product storage.  Edible products were responsible for 51 (52% ) of exposures.  The report claimed that child-resistant packaging has not been as effective in reducing kids’ unintended exposure to pot as hoped.
    • The report mentions the death of one child, an 11-month-old baby.  Nine of the children had symptoms so serious that they ended up in the intensive care unit of Colorado Children’s  Hospital.  Two children needed breathing tubes.

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      Hamza Warsame, 16,  jumped 6 stories after smoking pot in Seattle in December. Photo: Seattle Times, from the Warsame Family
    • The state of Washington has a similar problem with edibles, as reported on the King County Health Department’s website.  From 2013 to May 2015, there were 46 cases of children’s intoxications related to marijuana edibles reported in Washington.  However, reporting is voluntary and the state estimates that  number could be much higher.
    •  In May, a father plead guilty to deliberately giving his 4-year-old daughter marijuana-laced cake in Vancouver, Washington.  He was sentenced to two years in prison.

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      Intoxication from marijuana edibles has risen steadily since legalization. Source: King County Department of Health. Top photo: AP
    • In Hingham, MA, there was a 911  related to teen girl who ingested marijuana edibles.  The candies were in a package labelled Conscious Creations, which didn’t disclose ingredients.   Massachusetts has a medical marijuana program, but it is not clear how or to whom they were sold or dispensed.
    • July, 2016: A California man was arrested for giving candy laced with marijuana to a 6-year-old boy and an 8-year-old boy; the 6-year-old was hospitalized for marijuana poisoning.
    • July, 2016: Police in Arizona arrested a mother for allegedly giving her 11- and 12-year-old children gummy candy infused with marijuana. Police say the marijuana-infused candy was originally purchased by an Arizona medical marijuana user, but was illegally transferred to the mother in question.  (State medical marijuana programs have poor track records of assuring the “medicine” goes to whom it is intended.)
    • On April 27, a Georgia woman was arrested after a 5- year-old said he ate a marijuana cake for breakfast.  The child was taken to the hospital for treatment following the incident; according to officials, his pulse was measured at over 200 beats per minute.

Edible marijuana poses a “unique problem,” because “no other drug is infused into a palatable and appetizing form” – such as cookies, brownies and candy.    Many household items cause poisonings, but marijuana edibles are different because they’re made to look appealing and they appeal to children.

Tragic Accidents Related to Marijuana Involve Children

15-year-old driver high on pot paralyzes boy, rips truck into 3 parts near Seattle

When states legalize marijuana for adults, children are in danger, too.  Here’s recent traffic accidents involving marijuana. Eight are dead, three of them children.

  1.  A 7-year-old boy is paralyzed, because a girl driving under the influence of marijuana smashed into his dad’s pickup truck near Seattle on May 24, 2016.  The unlicensed, 15-year-old driver was in a BMW, with a 24-year-old man and a 5-year-old child.  The man driving the truck sustained critical injuries, with his truck  torn into three parts.  (photo above: Kent fire department)
  2. An  8-year old girl, Peyton Knowlton, who was hit and killed while riding her bicycle in Longmont, Colorado, on May 20.  Newspaper articles on July 27 report that the police investigation confirms that the 20-year-old driver high had been high on marijuana at the time.  He was below the legal age for purchasing marijuana.  (A video on below shows the scene of the accident.)

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    Peyton Knowlton from a gofundme page, as shared in an article on Westword.com
  3. In Boulder, Colorado on May 7, a 17-year-old was driving home from smoking pot with friends when he plowed through a stoplight while stoned and killed two young adults.   It means that at least two deadly accidents in Boulder County involved marijuana during the month of May.
  4. July, 2016: A Wisconsin teen admitted to using marijuana shortly before his vehicle missed a stop sign and collided with an SUV. The driver was a 17-year old.  His 16-year-old passenger died, as did an adult in another vehicle. The driver was in intensive care.
  5. June, 2016: Authorities in Arizona believe the woman who caused a deadly crash was driving under the influence of marijuana. Court documents reveal the woman was driving at least 75 mph in a 40 mph zone when she crossed the center line, plowing into an oncoming vehicle and killing a man and his daughter.   A 2-year-old and 4-year-old were injured.
  6. In Virginia, a 27-year-old father drove under the influence of marijuana with three children in the car.  He  collided with an oncoming train and the youngest, a 3-year-old girl, died on March 25, 2015.  Last month he was sentenced to three years in prison.

We wrote about bicyclists’ deaths recently.   In Boulder County, three died in two accidents in May.  Here’s a video from the report after Peyton Knowlton’s death, which occurred in Longmont:

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Arizona Pot Groups Uses Mother’s Day to Advertise Legalization Ballot

When pro legalization efforts rears its ugly head on Mother’s Day…

When managers of the Colorado and Washington pro-marijuana legalization campaigns were asked how they won in 2012, they said that focusing on women, specifically the moms, was key to their success.

The campaigns set out to convince parents that legalization would have four benefits: “Fewer profits for cartels, increased funding for schools, more time for police to focus on violent crime, and their children would not be affected.”  The opposite has turned out be true in all regards, and crime has increased.

In advance of Mother’s Day 2012, the Colorado Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Campaign ran TV advertisements in Denver of young woman emailing her mother saying that she was going to try marijuana instead of alcohol, because she thinks it’s safer.

Following that lead of exploiting Mother’s Day, the pro-legalization coalition in Arizona put up billboards in Phoenix and Tucson on Monday. The billboards feature a young woman and her mother, with the question: “Have you talked to your parents about marijuana?”  It’s also an obvious way to interest young potential customers, and attract young voters.

The Campaign to Regular Marijuana Like Alcohol called the billboard campaign a “playful angle on the conversations parents were urged for decades to have with their children about the dangers of marijuana and other drugs.legalization

A press release from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said: “For decades, the federal government distributed anti-marijuana propaganda to parents and encouraged them to share it with their children.

“The goal of the ads is to flip the script on marijuana education and encourage younger voters to start conversations about marijuana with their family members, especially older generations who have been led to believe marijuana is more harmful than it actually is.”  (Safer than alcohol” is a frequent but deceptive rallying cry of the marijuana lobby.)  Here’s more information on the ballot in Arizona, which is losing according to polls.

ARDP Opposition Responds to the Billboards

Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy denounced the billboards, claiming they mock serious conversations about drugs between parents and kids. “There is nothing ‘playful’ about the serious conversations parents have with their children about the dangers of substance abuse,” said Seth Leibsohn, chair of Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy. “It is wholly irresponsible to mock substance abuse — and the hard work done by community preventionists and parents to keep their children safe — as a joke.”

Leibsohn called for the ads to be taken down immediately, noting that in nearby Colorado:

The billboards were paid for by the the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project, Yes on I-08-2016, with major funding from Marijuana Policy Project,  MPP Foundation, an out-of-state contributor,  Arizonans for Responsible Legalization and Monarch.