They say marijuana doesn't kill anyone. We wish that were true. These are our stories.

"Not JUST Pot Anymore"

He was an above average student. He had many friends. He was a gifted athlete. His counselor told him he could essentially go to any college with his grades and accomplishments.

At 14 he began smoking pot. By the time he was 17 he was exhibiting addictive behaviors. We thought it was “just pot.” We figured he’d grow out of it. But the raging began, then the stealing, then the erratic behavior. By senior year of high school his grades had plummeted from As and Bs to Cs and Ds. He managed to graduate and go off to junior college. However, it was only a matter of months before his use had escalated to such a crescendo that he could not attend any classes. He spent all the money we sent for books and supplies on weed. He stopped eating and used his food money to buy pot. Marijuana was more important than anything. Even more important than his adoring and adorable girlfriend—who tried without success--to influence his choices. She once asked me, “Why does he prefer to go smoke weed than to spend time with me?”

In a matter of months he was at our doorstep saying, “I am home for more parenting.” Within hours he was in a raging tirade with his girlfriend in our family room. That was the first time we called the police. This pattern continued. We were advised to do an intervention, which cost several thousand dollars. Our elderly parents, his siblings, his best friend and girlfriend—we were all there. We lovingly cried our observations and begged him to accept recovery and help; instead, he bolted. He chose marijuana over everything. Over love, over food and shelter, over logic, over safety... over everything. Was it just pot? He said it was. Drug tests confirmed this. But how could marijuana be so destructive? Wasn’t it a benign substance? What was happening? We were devastated. Our son was well loved, well educated, had a healthy stable home with support from sisters, grandparents and extended family. What happened?

Shane's Story

Shane's Story

Shane was my first-born son who grew into a handsome 6’4” young man. He always seemed larger than life and he had a big heart, infectious smile, and zest for life. He excelled at sports, especially water sports, from a young age. Shane was a very normal, healthy teen and even weathered a back injury and surgery which made high school team sports no longer possible–so he transferred his athletic skills to wakeboarding !
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When Shane moved away from home at age 19, he began using recreational marijuana (unbeknownst to his family). At age 22, Shane endured prolonged physical rehab to his knee following a serious boating accident. It was later realized Shane had increased his use of pot as he was intolerant of the prescription pain medications.
Shane was determined to proceed with his wedding to his long-term girlfriend...

Andy's Story

Andy's Story

This is the story of my son Andy Zorn…

Andy was born in 1982 and had a joyful life easily making and keeping friends. It was his mission to make friends and family laugh and have a good time and he was GOOD at it. He was class clown. He made parties come alive. When he grew older he helped good friends with their mental health and substance abuse issues.

But it all began to get harder for him to do as he became a teen and thought he had to participate in drinking and drugs to fit in. He was good at hiding the extent to which he indulged in these activities and surprised everyone with his statements in a suicide note:

“My soul is already dead. Marijuana killed my soul + ruined my brain.”


Latest Articles/Interviews

Marijuana:  a potent disruptor for young users, whose brains are still developing

 LA Times | 9-2-16 | By: Robin Abcarian

 “We have a child/adolescent unit that treats kids to age 17, and an adult unit for 18 and older, and we see young people in both age groups who come to the emergency room with florid symptoms of psychosis that appear to be associated with heavy use of marijuana,” said Tom Strouse, medical director of UCLA’s Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital. “Sometimes they have a known, preexisting illness, but many do not.”

Marijuana, he said, can cause psychosis. For some, it will be fleeting. But for those with a genetic or biological risk for a chronic illness such as schizophrenia, Strouse said, “heavy marijuana use may hasten or intensify the manifestation, and lead to a worse course than if you never used marijuana at all.” 

Marijuana: A potent disruptor for young users, whose brains are still developing

Devan Fuentes made it all the way through San Clemente High School without drinking or using drugs. He vividly remembers the first time he smoked pot. He was visiting a friend at Occidental College, and decided the moment had come.

Medical Pros: Toke At Your Own Risk

Doctors say health concerns for pot are worse than we think.
4:51 PM, AUG 19, 2016 | By ALICE B. LLOYD

“Leaders in the health sector from Washington state and Colorado, where marijuana’s recreational use is widespread and often ineffectively regulated, know enough by now to take a step back and consider the ill effects. They presented findings and concerns on the health effects of cannabis Thursday afternoon at a National Academy of Sciences committee meeting in Washington, D.C. Dr. Leslie Walker, chief of adolescent medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital, added her pediatric view to a Colorado public health official’s report of pot users coming to the ER with grave physical symptoms. “For kids, it’s actually not uncommon. We have a number of them in the hospital at the same time. It’s not just the long-term users,” she said.

” 

The disruption of a growing brain’s normal development is a heavy concern. Walker observed that research of particularly tragic cases has established links between schizophrenia and adolescent marijuana use. “People who use fifty times or more were much more likely to have a diagnosis of schizophrenia than people who had never used,” she said.

 
“The other part which is concerning,” Walker added, “is there are poorer treatment outcomes when you compare them to adult users.”

Medical Pros: Toke At Your Own Risk

Leaders in the health sector from Washington state and Colorado, where marijuana’s recreational use is widespread and often ineffectively regulated, know enough by now to take a step back and consider the ill effects. They presented findings and concerns on the health effects of cannabis Thursday afternoon at a National Academy of Sciences committee meeting in Washington, D.C.

Addiction Professional magazine
  
August 18, 2016 
by Tom Valentino, Senior Editor

As presented at the National Conference on Addiction Disorders in Denver, August 18, 2016 by  Jennifer Golick, LMFT, PhD (clinical director at Muir Wood Adolescent and Family Services) stated “cannabis use does, in fact, pose serious, long-term health risks for adolescents”.

 

 

‘Harmless’ cannabis a dangerous misnomer for adolescents

In spite of some particularly creative cases to the contrary presented by teenagers she has spoken with, cannabis use does, in fact, pose serious, long-term health risks for adolescents, Jennifer Golick, LMFT, PhD, told attendees at the National Conference on Addiction Disorders on Thursday in Denver.

 

 

“How many more young lives have to derail from using marijuana?”

McClean said he spent three weeks in Bellevue Hospital, and now takes medication for his bipolar disorder, which he says was heightened after he decided to quit smoking marijuana weeks earlier.

Model Explains Why He Went On Naked Rant In Times Square

Krit McClean, the male model who was arrested after he stripped naked and threatened police in Times Square on June 30, attributed his bizarre behavior to a “manic episode” in a new op-ed in the New York Post .

 OREGON pot busi collusion-corruption

The letter plays a key role in a state investigation into Siler, CEO of Cannacea, a dispensary that opened last fall in Northeast Portland. The fraud inquiry is the first of its kind in Oregon’s marijuana industry. Investigators also are examining the role of a company that Siler hired to help attract investors. The firm, Green Rush Consulting, worked with a felon previously convicted in a financial scam.

Portland pot dispensary targeted in Oregon marijuana industry’s first fraud investigation

Relationships soured between Tisha Siler, a self-described herbalist and holistic counselor, and many of those she hoped would bankroll her operation. The venture spiraled into nasty accusations, multiple court claims against Siler and her dispensary and demands from investors that she return their money, according to court documents and the state’s investigative file.

 

Birth of an industry:

NORML and the proof behind the truth: how the scam of “Medical” Marijuana was sold to the public

Has the “Medical” in Marijuana Qualified Pot for Rescheduling? –

Please share this post with every concerned parent you know! Spread the Word about Pop Pot! If you tell a lie long enough, people start believing it’s the truth. We found a “medical” marijuana box in the middle of the soaps and toiletries of a gift shop in a state where lobbyists have been trying to commercialize “medical” marijuana through the state legislature.

Sen. Feinstein says “NO” to legalizing MJ

BY CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO | 7-12-16
Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday formally opposed an initiative on California’s fall ballot to legalize recreational marijuana for adults. Feinstein said the measure, Proposition 64, lacked protections for children and motorists and would clash with medical marijuana guidelines signed last fall by Gov. Jerry Brown.

 

Lawmaker who pushed medical pot in Md. is part of team applying to sell the drug

The Washington Post | By Fenit Nirappil and Aaron Gregg July 16
 
The state lawmaker who led the effort to legalize medical marijuana in Maryland is part of a company trying to sell and profit off the drug — a position he never disclosed as he pushed bills and regulations to help cannabis businesses.
Del. Dan K. Morhaim ­(D-Baltimore County) is the clinical director for Doctor’s Orders, according to a portion of a dispensary licensing application obtained by The Washington Post through a public records request.

 

Colorado Youth Marijuana Use is Not Flat

Region 16 (Boulder, Broomfield): High school seniors in this region reported the highest rate of past-month use among 12th graders in the state. In 2015, 42.2 percent of high school seniors reported past-month use, versus 28.5 in 2013. That’s a 48.1 percent increase. The use rate among high school juniors in this region jumped from 22.3 percent to 33.4 percent, a 49.8 percent increase.

Colorado youth marijuana use IS on the rise – Dr. Christian Thurstone

Given that the health of American youth is in question and that so many states base their policies on reports issued by the State of Colorado, it is important to understand what the 2015 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS) actually tells us.

 

Marijuana Industry buys Colorado petition companies,  Makes petitioners sign No Compete Clause

Marijuana Industry buys Colorado petition companies, Makes petitioners sign No Compete Clause

We’re hearing news out of Colorado that marijuana proponents have bought off all of the petition companies and have made petitioners sign a no compete clause which essentially makes it impossible for Anti-legalization groups to petition for push back initiatives.”They were offering $75,000 to $200,0000, depending on size of each company, to get contracts that say they will not gather signatures for this ballot measure,” said attorney and former Colorado House Speaker Frank McNulty.

 

Police report: Muslim teen smoked marijuana, jumped from balcony (to his death)

By: Brandon Macz    Capital Hill Time Staff  5-1-16    

A Seattle Police investigation into the death of 16-year-old Seattle Central College student Hamza Warsame determined the teen leapt from the balcony of a Capitol Hill apartment on Dec. 5, putting to rest initial speculation across social media that the young Muslim had been the victim of a hate crime. Warsame’s classmate told police the two had met to work on a school project and, at one point, Warsame expressed an interest in trying marijuana, which the student had in his apartment, the report states. He said Warsame became frantic while the student was preparing food, stating he needed air and was worried he had done something offensive in regard to his religion. It was shortly after this that the student reported to police that Warsame jumped from the small balcony, falling approximately 40 feet.

Police report: Muslim teen smoked marijuana, jumped from balcony | The Capitol Hill Times

A Seattle Police investigation into the death of 16-year-old Seattle Central College student Hamza Warsame determined the teen leapt from the balcony of a Capitol Hill apartment on Dec. 5, putting to rest initial speculation across social media that the young Muslim had been the victim of a hate crime.

 

Marijuana Regulation a Scary Chaotic Mess?

By: Gale Scott | 5-19-16    

The current legal climate in which several states are defying the law with apparent impunity is “a scary chaotic mess,” Richard Bonnie, JD, a lawyer with a long association with the American Psychiatric Association said, one in which “marijuana prohibition has unraveled.” “Can we put the genie back in the bottle?,” Bonnie asked, speaking at the group’s 2016 annual meeting in Atlanta, GA. Bonnie’s analysis was filled with dire warnings about the consequences of legalized marijuana  for public health. There is as yet sparse evidence if any that cannabis has any medical value, he said, despite the public’s enthusiasm. “Medical marijuana has been a Trojan horse,” he said, a way for those who would profit from recreational use sales to get into the game by promoting the herb as having healing powers. 

Those negative consequences he said can be “psychosis, cognitive impairment and poor school performance, and risk of depression and suicidal ideation.” “A worrisome proportion of users use it intensively and develop diagnosable disorders,” he said, “they are the causalities and [the incidence] may be higher than with alcohol.” 

Marijuana Regulation a Scary Chaotic Mess?

Medical marijuana use is legal in many states-despite federal drug laws that still make it a Drug Enforcement Agency Schedule 1 controlled substance and a paucity of research showing cannabis has any benefits for users beyond getting high.

 

 

 

MARIJUANA AND MENTAL HEALTH

ONDCP Press Conference: MARIJUANA AND YOUR TEEN’S MENTAL HEALTH
Nat’l Press Club, Wash DC,

Lisagor Room, 5/3/05, SAMHSA/ONDCP

Neil McKeganey, PhD Professor of Drug Misuse Research and Director,

Centre for Drug Misuse Research Glasgow Univ, Glasgow, Scotland UK

Mental Health & Marijuana / Anti Marijuana Educational Video

Mental Health & Marijuana / Anti Marijuana Educational Video. Public service announcement public domain video: ONDCP Press Conference: Marijuana and Your Teen’s Mental Health. When: 5/3/2005. Sponsor: SAMHSA/ONDCP. Experts Alert Parents About Mental Health Harms of Teens’ Marijuana Use.Mental health experts and scientists joined high-ranking government officials to discuss an emerging body of research that identifies clear links between marijuana use and mental health disorders, including depression, suicidal thoughts and schizophrenia.

 

 

This pot-focused educational course should be taught in every school district across America, not JUST one school in the country.

OAK CREEK, Colo. — The students are seventh graders in the first pot-focused education course in Colorado, created by school counselor Molly Lotz and teacher Sarah Grippa, co-founders of the Marijuana Education Initiative.
Its message to the kids — that pot can damage your still-developing brain — is critical, Grippa said, and the students get that.

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/colorado-pot-focused-education-seventh-grade-students/


 

America’s drug experiment has been a disaster”

by: Melanie Phillips (The London Times) 4-27-16
Scientists from Britain, the US, Europe and Australia recently warned that the threat to mental health from heavy cannabis use was serious enough to warrant a global public health campaign. Study after study has flagged up the damage cannabis does to users and others in their ambit. Long-term potheads display on average an eight-point decline in IQ over time, a higher risk of psychosis and permanent brain damage.

America’s drug experiment has been a disaster

The legalisation of cannabis financed by Soros and encouraged by Obama will lead to social decay, writes Melanie Phillips in the Times. ARTICLE BY MELANIE PHILLIPS, 26 April 2016… Fresh research has shown once again that cannabis is intensely harmful.

 

You Can’t Deny Marijuana is Dangerous for Developing Minds

Psychiatrist and clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia
4-8-16 Vancouver, B.C. (Huff Post-Parents) 
The impact of THC on a developing brain can be profound and life-altering. Adolescence is a time of massive brain remodeling, when brain cells (neurons) are pruned and critical connections are made. Most mental illnesses first present during this remodeling phase. A 2016 study reviewed 31 scientific papers and reported compelling evidence that high THC levels found in street pot alters brain structure, size and function, especially for frequent, heavy users. Neurons in brain areas that are rich in cannabinoid 1 (THC) receptors are damaged or destroyed by THC. This includes neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), hippo-campus and amygdala. The PFC is necessary for mature adult behavior. It’s the brain’s executive, responsible for organizing, planning, forward thinking and critical thinking. If you have a teenager, you know their PFC isn’t fully developed; for most people that happens by age 25. THC is a neurotoxin — it damages neurons in critical brain areas like the PFC — and the amount of damage is directly correlated with smoking frequency and the age when pot use begins. There must be an agenda behind those who argue that mountains of scientific research is wrong. Perhaps it’s to bolster confidence in their personal use of pot, whether employed for pleasure or as treatment. Perhaps it’s for financial gain, since teens are the largest pot market. There is simply no evidence-based, cogent argument for pot’s social good, especially for teens. No one should tell a parent that pot is safe for their child.

 

You Can’t Deny Marijuana Is Dangerous For Developing Minds

Physicians have not effectively confronted pot-related myths, nor have we adequately educated our patients. When I tell parents about marijuana’s risks, they often express shock. Many believe it’s like oregano… a safe “natural product” that adds a little spice to life. But pot is not benign.

 

 

 

11:00 min Podcast interview with Sir Professor Robin Murray: NOT TO BE MISSED

Here is a very candid viewpoint expressed by a frustrated British schizophrenia expert (Sir Professor Robin Murray, MD) who clearly doesn’t understand why Americans would undertake the legalization experiment underway in Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Washington state and D.C. when so much science points towards serious mental health harm. At the end of the interview he states: ” I think we should wait and see what happens in the US. I say doing research on monkey and rats is very expensive, you have to look after them, keep them in cages. Americans are doing it for free. So we just wait and see what happens in Colorado, more psychosis, and more road traffic accidents. We should be cautious. ”

Announcer – “Lab rats. Human lab rats.”

Murray – “American lab rats for free.”

Is cannabis bad for you?, iPM – BBC Radio 4

A leading psychiatrist explains the latest research on cannabis.


 

Harmless? Marijuana-induced psychosis on the upswing

By Josh Kerns, KIRO Radio Reporter | February 26, 2016

Duane Stone is a veteran Seattle mental health specialist. He’s seeing a surprising increase in patients experiencing psychotic episodes as well. Many have never had any mental health problems before. “I get lots of first break kind where this person doesn’t have an experience with mental illness, they don’t have a diagnosis, they’re 30 or 40-years-old. And the only thing they’ve been doing has been smoking marijuana for the last year or two,” Stone said.

Harmless? Marijuana-induced psychosis on the upswing

Since our state’s legalization of marijuana, more people are getting high, believing pot is completely harmless. But mental health professionals are seeing a dramatic increase in problems caused by pot, especially in young people. They worry the lack of awareness about its risks will only make matters worse.