As Far as I’m Concerned, Marijuana Killed my Son.


May 15, 2019

By Kent Osborn 

My son, Thomas Osborn, took his own life on July 2, 2016. He probably started smoking pot sometime when he was attending the University of Utah and probably with his fraternity Brothers.

Tom was a high achieving student at Arapahoe High School in Colorado, and at Utah where he was a top student in his Math and Calculus classes of 250+ students.

Thomas Osborn

After two years of college, he dropped out of the University of Utah and returned to live at home in Colorado. He told me that he couldn’t continue as he was struggling with school and wanted to come home.

When he returned home, he started to smoke pot heavily, and eventually got in trouble with the law, when he received a DWUI charge. He was put on a two-year probation and stayed clean for the duration.

He had a good job that he liked and we felt he was progressing. But when he got off probation, he quit his job and started smoking heavily again.
During this time, we took him to various counseling centers and doctors, but nothing seemed to help him. He was diagnosed as “schizophrenic while under the influence of marijuana” by one psychiatrist. He was also having anxiety, multiple personality disorder and started cutting himself.

He always bragged that he used “top shelf” (high-THC) marijuana. But he assured us that he was using no other drugs, and we believed him.

He was soon arrested again, this time for trying to escape from the police, and probably during a psychotic episode. He was attacked by the dogs of the K9 force, put in jail and was back out on probation again.

Soon after this arrest, his psychotic episodes increased to a climax when my wife refused to give him money to buy pot. He stabbed himself with a kitchen knife in front of my wife to end his own life.

When Tom didn’t smoke during his first probation he was a normal young man, had a good job and was a pleasure to be around. We did things a father and son would do together. But when he went back to smoking it destroyed him.

We were anxious to get the coroner’s report after his death to see if he was using anything other than pot. We really thought that he had to be doing some other kind of drugs as well as pot. But his report only showed very high levels of THC, and no trace of any other drugs in his system.

To read in the media and continue to hear that pot cannot kill anyone – and that it’s a “harmless wonder drug” – makes me angry at the very least.

As far as I’m concerned, marijuana killed my son.

Submitted by Kent Osborn, a Colorado Father. Reprinted with permission by Smart Colorado.

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  1. Reply

    Dear Kent,
    I am so sorry about your son Tom. What a handsome guy, what a loss for all.
    Thank you for joining us at Moms Strong (and Strong Dads too) and helping honor the memories of our children.
    Their stories need to be shared to warn others of the dangerous nature of marijuana for far too many.
    Thank you.

  2. Mary Louise Boss


    Dear Kent and Moms Strong —
    thank you for sharing the story of your son. Coming from a grieving father, your story has a stronger impact. I am sure your grief is beyond explanation but your courage is evident. Stand strong and keep moving forward to expose the truth. Your son’s life still has purpose.

    Moms Strong, thank you for this web site. Your information is powerful and desperately needed. The power of those picking up the pieces needs to become united.
    I am truly grieved for the misleading messages being delivered to the children that marijuana use is harmless and to the adults who care for the children. The toll is immense. I am angered by those who abuse the innocence and recognize this weed is deadly but still continue to promote its use. To actually read articles about marijuana-induced psychosis is confirming what many believe but have not had the ability to put the pieces together.

    Kent and Moms Strong — keep fighting and keep pushing for the truth to be exposed.
    Thank you for your efforts

    Mary Louise Boss

    • Reply

      Thank you so much for your comment. Supporting each other and joining our voices makes us all better educators, so necessary in this scary environment of drug promotion. Thank you for your support.

  3. R. Huisman


    Why do they promote cannabis in the USA like its something wonderful? It’s medical efficacy is highly exaggerated while it’s destructive effects on physical and mental health are largely ignored! Why?

    • Reply

      It is largely Addiction Economics. Promoting drug use creates jobs, maufacturing, agriculture, sales, taxes with the bonus of additional industry for those afflicted with use disorders – the treatment and recovery industries. Not to mention the mortuary industry when our children die as a result of drug use disorders.

      It is insidious that our legislators and the voters that bring this upon our society do this with education about risks, harms, costs being suppressed and the drug normalized and promoted.

      The normalization and promotion are easily done by a wealthy marijuana industry while grass roots drug use prevention and education industries struggle along with minimal financial backing.

      Media support of Addiction Economics adds another layer of the answer to your question “Why?” They have largely ignored the side of the story that warns of the costs.

      I hope you will join our voices in educating about marijuana’s risks and harms. Thank you for your comment and very insightful question of “Why?”

  4. Reply

    To Mary Louise Boss,

    Thank you so much for your comment. Supporting each other and joining our voices makes us all better educators, so necessary in this scary environment of drug promotion. Thank you for your support.

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