My son, now 21 years old, began using marijuana at age 16 because he said, “it relaxes me.” My husband and I told him he could not get his driver’s license until he was clean. We had no idea how strong the marijuana was, and how it would affect his developing brain. He got clean a year later so he could drive.
Soon after, we learned later, he began using again. He began to have fewer friends, stopped doing what he loved doing, and at age 18 began hearing voices. We were unaware of this reaction for some that use marijuana. He became increasingly difficult to talk to and acted like we were his enemies. It came to a head when he was 18 and we were seeking ways to get him admitted to a drug treatment program. That night, after my husband and I met with a drug counselor, we noticed checks missing from several accounts we had. The total was over $1,200.00. My husband was home with him and my son began to accuse him of many things that had no validity. This child, who got mostly A’s in academic classes and A’s in citizenship was a completely different person in less than 3 years. He was paranoid, delusional, and out of control.
My husband called the sheriff. Thankfully we got a man who was compassionate and decided to take him to a hospital instead of jail for the theft. He spent the next 6 weeks nearly mute and unable to respond to any medications that might help him. We learned later that he was severely traumatized by the ride with the sheriff, the hospital stay, and the ambulance ride to the mental hospital. Either my husband or I visited my son every day and he would not talk. It was heartbreaking.
When he was finally released we gave him firm boundaries that if he were to live with us, no drugs or alcohol. He is now almost 3 years clean from marijuana, but his ability to think has been greatly compromised. We even had a brain scan to determine if he had schizophrenia, but his brain did not look like a schizophrenic brain. There is no family history of schizophrenia. We are on a long, difficult journey that we never imagined we would have to take, all because he thought marijuana was natural and safe to use. It’s not. I would warn anyone who thinks Prop 64 is a good idea to consider the reaction of our precious young people, and how it would send a message to them that this is a safe alternative to other drugs or alcohol. Bad idea. Think how many other families would suffer. They might not have insurance like we did. Then our society would have to pay. A lot. Vote an emphatic “no” on Prop 64. Our whole society will benefit.
From a Concerned Mom in California