There is a blanket of lies covering America’s eyes to the hazards of marijuana use. One group of people knows all to well the fatal consequences of cannabis use and abuse. These are the men and women who have lost their children or siblings to the scourge of the encroaching cannabis culture. They now stitch together their tragedies into a quilt of lives lost….but never forgotten. The MomsStrong.org quilt project aims to educate the public. Yes, marijuana does kill. It kills the ones you love. And, in many different ways.
Marijuana kills with mental health impacts that lead to illness and suicide. Cannabis kills behind the wheel. It can cause heart problems which lead to death. It can addict the user. And, most notably, it can lead to fatal poly-substance abuse or to drugs that kill by overdose, like heroin, fentanyl and opioid pharmaceuticals. Continue reading →
My name is Jacki Cosner and 27 months ago we lost our eldest daughter, Kayla Nicole (20), and her husband, Daniel Brian Amos (21), on Valentine’s Day. They had only been married 6 months and she posted that morning how excited she was that her “halfyearversary” would always be on this day of celebrating true love.
Dan worked at a local church as an Arts Worship Leader and had recently been ordained a minister. He played electric guitar in the church band and was living out a musical dream for his passion. Jesus Christ. Kayla recently had graduated from Liberty University with a BS in Business, Entrepreneurship. Her dream of running a coffee shop was coming to fruition thru the church as well. They were opening one in the church lobby to raise money for End Hunger, a local charity. She had been volunteering with them for some time. Dan and Kayla were rooted in their faith first and rooted in their love for Christ. That is what made them who they were and made their life extraordinary.
On February 14th, 2016 they had gone to a late lunch after church at a restaurant Dan had been wanting to try. After that they went to Kayla’s favorite shop at the mall and he bought her a beautiful red lace skirt in honor of the occasion. On the way home, not twenty minutes in, at 4:30pm, an oncoming car crossed the center line and hit them head on. The impact hard enough to lift the rear slightly causing the car behind them to go under and flip their car over. Dan passed at the scene and Kayla was life flighted to Shock Trauma. We were informed her injuries were not survivable. We kept her on life support knowing and watching as vitals slowed. At 7 a.m. on February 15, 2016, we gave her hand to Dan one last time. I’ve heard repeatedly over the past 2+ years how strong I am. My response is always the same, “I would be weak again in a heartbeat if it would mean they were still here.”
Though there are a lot of people that would probably not agree with me, I consider myself a mother who lost her children to drugs. Heroin and marijuana specifically. No, they did not use the drug and I have not gone thru the daily torment of watching them battle the addiction. However, had it not been for the decision to use this drug by another person, Kayla and Daniel would still be here. They would still be planning and living the future they only started together 6 months earlier. A life they lived with intention in everything they did.
My heart hurts for every mom watching a child suffer
In my life, I have had the trials of raising teenagers that are curious and have not always made the choice we would want. However, I have to say, we are blessed that that is all it came to be. A curiosity and lesson learned are lessons avoided. There are countless other parents who tragically cannot say the same. My heart hurts for every mom who has had to bear the burden of watching a child suffer. Its every parent’s worst fear to have their child make a horrible life altering decision that we know cannot end well. I say these things including the decisions to take that first pill, smoke that first cigarette or joint, shoot that first needle. We try so hard to teach them well and when these things come to light we wonder why and where did we go wrong? How did we fail them? The burden to keep our children safe and healthy becomes immeasurably harder and sometimes impossible.
I may not have been living it for years or dealt with it daily up to February 14,2016, but an all-night bender of a person who just wanted to get through the night, get to work, and then decided it was perfectly fine to get behind the wheel of a 5000 lb. weapon, took my daughter and son-in-law. She is here. And they are not. I fully support the idea that we must act on this war heavy and straight on. Mothers, fathers, children, sisters, brothers. All walks of life need help. We most certainly need to bring the awareness to the open. However, this is where I start to sway. I have a challenging time blaming biology or calling it a disease. I have a challenging time dismissing the whole “choice” factor. At some point a choice was made. We do not need to make those curiosities and choices easier for our young future to explore. This is how we eradicate a disease. The thought that we have started legalizing marijuana terrifies me. Just because we tell them to stay home does not guarantee anything. What next? Where will this lead?
Saying no can save the life of someone else
I feel there is a need for another perspective on the whole issue. Not one that undermines the work already done, but one that can hopefully enhance the cause and get the word to not just the families looking in the face of the addicted member, but to all the ones out there considering it. They need to learn how an innocent person can suddenly and tragically be thrown into this world in a matter of seconds. They need to understand that saying “NO” can not only save their life, but could be saving the lives of someone else. Maybe even their friend or family.
I would not wish this life on anyone–my life of grief or the driver’s life, living with that night. But I also cannot sit back and not try to help someone out there see that no one is beyond the unthinkable. No one is invincible. The driver thought they were and now is sitting wondering where their life is going to lead. Dan and Kayla Amos knew they were not invincible, but at least they knew where they were going and when they opened their eyes above, they were HOME.
SAM published a new educational toolkit, based on the current marijuana policy problems, as of February 2017. This brochure is an abbreviated guide for legislators, policy makers and others who are looking into marijuana policy. SAM, which stands for Smart Approaches to Marijuana, advocates for a policy that doesn’t involve jail………………or legalization.
Handy graphic designs can help people visualize what the scientific data is saying right now. Here’s the brochure in the pdf form.
Several states have legalized marijuana and now we have four years worth of data from Washington and Colorado. We can compare different states’ marijuana policies and anticipate where the big problems lie. For example, 22% of the traffic fatalities in Washington involved marijuana impairment in 2014, the year commercial marijuana stores opened.
With the help of a blue ribbon team of professional and medical advisors, SAM presents information on the following: *Health Risks *Crime *Traffic deaths *Addiction as it relates to other substances *Work-related problems *Medical marijuana programs and how it effects youth usage *Overall problems related to marijuana usage between ages 12-17
SAM is the leading non-partisan, non-profit dedicated to a science-based marijuana policy. SAM hopes to prevent marijuana commercialization. Through its 501 (c) (4), SAM Action, it hopes to stop marijuana legalization.
BIG MARIJUANA is following the model of BIG TOBACCO in its addiction-for-profit industry. Meanwhile, politicians from Maryland to New Mexico have invested in this new growth industry. What are hidden public health and social costs of promoting this drug? Many Americans don’t seem to realize that legalization is commercialization, not decriminalization.