Tag Archives: Tyler Martel

Another Young Victim of Washington’s Marijuana Policy

A stoned driver killed high school senior Cheyllyn Ranae Collinsworth, 18, on May 17, 2017.  “Chey,” as she was called, would have graduated as one of the top 25 students at Centralia High School.  She planned to attend Central Washington University and  pursue her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher.

Our condolences go out to the grieving family.  Another young person’s life on earth ended too soon.

A crash on May 17, 2017 in Thurston County  killed Cherllyn Collinsworth,18. The other driver – under the influence of marijuana – had crossed the center lane of Old Highway 99.

The driver, 25-year-old Donald Siegler, crossed the center line of Old Highway 99 at Oregon Trail Road.  He is extremely sorry and remorseful, according to his Facebook posts.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who bragged that he will defend Washington’s marijuana program should be sorry, too.   He said, “My office will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that the federal government does not undermine Washington’s successful, unified system for regulating recreational and medical marijuana.”

However, another family must live with a big hole in their hearts.

Other Marijuana Driving Victims in Washington

Cheryllyn’s death adds to a growing list of victims in Washington who are also young people.  Since Washington legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, drivers under the influence of marijuana killed these students (and perhaps others).

Cadence Boyer, 7 (killed from accident on sidewalk on Halloween)

High School Students

Jenna Farley, 14,

Kassidy Clark, 16

Luther Stroudermire, 18

Shane Ormiston, 18

Gabriel Anderson, 15

Cheyllyn Collinsworth, 18

Marijuana contributed to other deaths in Washington:

Blake Gaston, 23

Tyler Martel, 27

Stephanie Nicole Proffitt, 27

Bicyclist killed in Spokane, July 16, 2015

Jennifer Berry, 43

Donald Collins, 62

Maria Hoagland, 61, (driver had “medical” marijuana card; both marijuana and Suboxone – was “medical” marijuana for opiate addiction?

In Washington the percentage of traffic deaths involving stoned drivers is nearly the same as those involving those under the influence of alcohol, 27% vs. 29%.  It is unbelievable that any state would add to the problem of drunk driving by calling for a policy that increases stoned driving and results in a higher rate of traffic deaths.

Hamza Warsame, 16,  another young victim in Washington, died from suicide while under the influence of marijuana.   How can Washington — with so many young victims — continue to defend a marijuana policy that goes against federal law?  Read the next post for information on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ letter to Washington’s governor.

Governor Martinez Denies Marijuana to Treat Opioid Addiction

On April 7, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez vetoed a bill which would have made opioid addiction a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.  Governor Martinez has consistency shown leadership in working to prevent drug addiction.  Earlier this year, legislators in New Mexico wisely rejected a bill to legalize pot,.

Maryland legislators recently proposed using marijuana to treat heroin addiction.   They removed the provision from the  bill after researchers explained there’s no evidence that cannabis is effective in treating addiction.

The mass insanity surrounding cures from “medical” marijuana sometimes comes from the Press.  As the number of newsprint subscribers dwindles, newspapers are looking to marijuana for new sources of advertising money.  (The New York Times, Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times and Denver Post are pro-marijuana newspapers.)  Another problem is that the marijuana industry’s paid lobbyists are pumping unscientific information to state legislators.   Many of these lobbyists have advanced degrees in Social Policy, Law or Political Science, but not the biological sciences.

Marijuana , Opioid Addiction and Heroin

Tyler Martel, finally free of opioid addiction, was getting his life back on track when the state of Washington legalized marijuana.  On December 5, 2012, marijuana became 100% legal for those ages 21 and over.  A few days later, Martel refused to drink with his parents, but smoked marijuana before driving.  His car crossed the center lane, and both he and his fiancé, also 27, died.  Another man was badly injured in that crash.  Martel died a victim of the “safer than alcohol” phrase that the marijuana lobby used to gain acceptance for legalization.

His death also demonstrates the public’s ignorance of marijuana as a dangerous drug.  Brain science reveals a connection between marijuana and the opiate/heroin epidemic.

Dr. Mark Willenbring, an addictions psychiatrist,  believes that alternative treatments are needed for pain, but not another drug of abuse.  He doesn’t believe you can solve the problem of addiction with another drug of abuse.  “The concept on its face is absurd,” he said.  “It doesn’t work,” he said. “Like trying to cure alcoholism with Valium.”

Pam Garozzo and Carlos, who lost his life Dec. 23, after 10 months of being off drugs. She told Gov. Christie’s panel at the White House that marijuana had been a gateway for her son.

Stop Denying the Potential Gateway Effect

Generally speaking, marijuana is already in the mix of drugs used by those who abuse opiates.   Those who use heroin invariably are using other drugs, including marijuana.   In fact, a group of parents in Massachusetts recently made a video tribute to 79 of their children who died from drugs.   In all cases, the deceased sons and daughters had started their drug use with cannabis.

When Governor Chris Christie convened a panel on the drug epidemic at the White House last week, a mother, spoke.  Pam Garozzo, whose son Carlos died from drugs in December, said her son had started smoking marijuana at age 15-1/2.  For him it was a gateway drug, and he’d be the first to tell you.   He died of heroin that had been laced with fentanyl–after being clean for 10 months.

Read Part 2 to learn how marijuana leads to opiates and heroin.

Marijuana Deaths: 5 Killed Instantly After Pot Became Legal

Can Other States Prevent Deaths Like those in Washington?

Washington – not Colorado – was the first state to legalize weed on December 5, 2012, exactly four years ago.    Within a few weeks, five people  died—probably only because marijuana was now legal. California and Massachusetts have not figured out how to measure  stoned drivers.  Will other states that now allow pot possession face a rapid rise of deaths too?

On the morning pot was legalized, two intruders broke into the Puyallup home of a large marijuana grower.  Robbery was the motive, of course.   The owner shot and killed the masked men immediately.    So much for the claim that legalization will “free up law enforcement for more serious crimes.”    A few weeks ago, there was a similar situation in Denver, when a homeowner shot and killed a 15-year-old stealing pot from his yard.

On December 17, 2012, Scotty Rowles struck and killed pedestrian Donald Collins in Vancouver, Washington.   Rowles was not speeding, but admitted to smoking a bowl of marijuana before driving.  He spent six months in jail and is now on probation.   (Punishments for stoned driving in Washington aren’t strong enough to discourage it.)

Tyler Martel’s accident on December 7, 2012 was more deadly.   Martel left his parents’ house at 10:30 p.m.  By 3:45 a.m., the police came to the parents’ home and said that he had died.  His girlfriend, his soon-to-be fiancé, had been airlifted to Harborview Hospital Center.   Stephanie Nicole Profitt underwent many surgeries and fought to regain her life.  Her struggle ended in death on January 19, 2013.

Don’t Substitute One Dangerous Addiction for Another

Stoned driving caused three of these deaths.   Marijuana greed and jealousy inspired the shooting when two men died.  Perhaps the worst news of all is that Tyler Martel, 27, who died instantly had survived and conquered Oxycodone addiction.   He was four years clean.  He had gone through rehab, had a job and was building a new life.  At a party on that fateful night, he declined all invitations to drink.   But marijuana was now legal, and he smoked marijuana with his brother before he drove.

When people suggest that substituting opiate pain pill abuse with marijuana, remember what happened to Tyler Martel and Stephanie Proffitt.   They were not the only victims.  Timothy Lang came to Profitt’s funeral in a wheelchair.    He was one of the other drivers, and is thankful to the emergency workers who saved life.

Alex Ashley poignantly describes Tyler Martel’s battle to regain his life and the legacy of the accident.

Martel’s mother Patrice is on a mission to warn students of impaired driving.   It is counter-intuitive to suggest that any addictive substance should substitute for another addictive substance.  It’s a case where someone tried it and we know the results.

Colorado gets more publicity than Washington because many anti-pot activists live in Colorado.  The Seattle press usually covers up the downside of pot.  Colorado opened commercial marijuana six months ahead of Washington, and we’ve heard more about deaths from edibles in Colorado.

However, Washington has a slightly higher rate of stoned driving deaths than Colorado.  A stoned driver killed Rosemary Tempel four months before the vote to legalize, but the Press and police failed to report it.

One year ago, 16-year-old boy Somalian immigrant Hamza Warsame — died immediately after smoking weed.  He jumped off a balcony and fell six stories to his death in Seattle.

A warning to Massachusetts, as state legislators discuss delaying marijuana.  Government’s job is to protect its people.   The black market still thrives in Washington and also causes violence.

So many tragic marijuana-related accidents involve children.