What other substance makes people so greedy and barbarous that they often kill for it? Only meth can inspire so much, but meth use has gone way down. Marijuana, or cannabis, inspires a cult-like following, with some advocates worshiping the plant as a god. Several recent incidents back up the scholarly research on marijuana’s deleterious effects on the teen brain, promoting violent behavior and even murder. Continue reading →
As Colorado tightens restrictions on the sale of marijuana edibles, the problems with pot candies have reached other states. Children all around the country have accidentally eaten pot-infused sweets and turned up in hospital emergency rooms. Continue reading →
I disagree with letter writer Larry Havard’s view that legalizing recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania would be a “win-win” solution to the financial problems of Erie’s schools.
I am a former Erieite now living in a state that has legalized both medical and so-called recreational marijuana. I have peacefully protested at two downtown pot shops in Spokane.
While protesting, I have seen young people who appear to be minors waiting outside the pot shop or going around the corner while a companion with the required ID goes in and buys marijuana. When I informed a pot shop owner about this, she told me that once their product leaves the store, it’s out of their hands.
The fact is that pot shops are unable to keep their products out of the hands, bodies and brains of minors, who are most vulnerable to marijuana’s harmful effects. This, in my opinion, is reason enough to overturn the legalization of so-called recreational marijuana where legalization has been approved. Young minds and lives matter.
I do not want a continuation of the war on drugs that has targeted and imprisoned the poor and especially people of color. Alternatives to arrest and jail for nonviolent drug crimes exist and should be expanded.
— KH, Spokane, Washington (we are leaving out his full name to protect his identity)
Callous Disregard for Human Life in Pursuit of Profit and Getting Stoned
In California, a mother will soon go on trial for the drunk driving crash that killed her daughter and daughter’s friend. The girls were skateboarding on a rural road in Humboldt County when a vehicle hit them. Toxicology reports revealed that the 14-year-old girls had THC in their blood. Marci Kitchen allegedly fled the scene of the accident on July 12, 2016 and tried to get rid of the pot in the car. A judge has called for a jury to decide if she’s guilty of drunk driving and homicide.
In Washington, a man high on marijuana killed policeman Jake Gutierrez. He was holding his 6-year-old daughter while in a standoff with multiple police that lasted 10 hours. The perpetrator claimed to be a sheriff named “Zeus.” Bruce Randall Johnson, 38, had been unraveling for weeks before police fired the shots that killed him. “A regular marijuana user, he’d been smoking more lately,” according to KIRO 7. The autopsy revealed: “Johnson’s body weighed in at a spindly 104 pounds. He had no drugs in his system, apart from high concentrations of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.”
In March, Brandon Powell, an 18-year-old, went psychotic after smoking marijuana “dabs ” in Estacada, Oregon. He left home barefoot in pajama bottoms and went missing until found dead in a river earlier this month. Also in Estacada last weekend, a man carried a severed head into a convenience store and stabbed a store clerk. The incident happened after a woman was reported dead in her home. She was the mother of 36-year-old Joshua Lee Webb who has been connected to the crime. He allegedly killed his mother first. Nothing in reports links the killing to marijuana.
It might be easy to pass judgment on people like Marci Kitchen and Bruce Johnson, but what about state policy that normalizes marijuana use? Kitchen grew pot beside her garage, but she lives in a county where everyone does it.
Murders under the influence of marijuana often happen because the perpetrators become psychotic and hallucinate.
In Wisconsin recently, a mother murdered her toddler after smoking pot. In West Virginia, the “Pretty Little Killers” planned and killed a friend under the influence of marijuana. It is easy to judge and condemn the perpetrators of violent crimes, but what of the culture that promotes marijuana? What of the culture that tells 14-year-olds it’s ok to get stoned and go skateboarding?
Profit Before People Drives the Legalization Ballots
Marijuana-induced insanity is recognized in every part of the world except North America. It appears that the United States and Canada prioritize profit over mental health, safety and human life. Voters pass these ballots even though there is no definitive, reliable test to detect stoned drivers, as there is for drunk drivers.
Legislative analysis for California Proposition 64 was written to emphasize that the state could earn 1 billion dollars annually.
The California government obviously thinks the tax money the state can earn from intoxication and addiction is the highest priority. The opening statement on the ballot to legalize marijuana used profit as motivating reason to legalize. That’s government motivated by preying on its own people. The press is guilty of the same mentality that emphasizes profits over human costs.
Press Ignored Child Abuse Deaths in Colorado; Will Cover-up Continue?
When marijuana stores opened in Colorado in January 2014, a toddler died in a fire while his parents smoked pot in another room. The mother was a medical marijuana cardholder, and the press should have covered the incident. During the same month another mother who smoked pot while her two sons died of carbon monoxide poisoning went on trial. These stories were in the local Press, but did not make national news.
According to NBC News, the driver who rammed into crowds in Times Square yesterday admitted to smoking marijuana before driving. He killed an 18-year-old girl and injured 22 others. Condolences to the heart-broken family of Alyssa Elsman. Other news services reported “he smoked something” or “mind-altering drug” or “synthetic marijuana.” Are they covering up behalf of the pot industry? Like the New York Times, do they want to legalize marijuana and try to downplay the bad news about pot?
When stoners argue in favor of legalization, they use the deaths caused by alcohol to promote their cause. The truth is that neither drunk driving nor stoned driving should be tolerated. But marijuana has more of a propensity to cause madness and psychosis. National policy which refuses to warn the public, along with states that promote a dangerous drug industry, share the blame for deaths.
No state successfully regulates to keep potent marijuana extracts — as used by Brandon Powell — away from teens. Those who value profit and tax money over people claim legalization is successful. Sadly, profit over human life is becoming the American way.