This is a public service announcement about the dangers of marijuana for young adults. Please share with any young adults you know.
Four weeks ago, our wonderful 19-year-old son Johnny died by suicide. Yesterday, the Coroner’s report and toxicology results were released. They discovered there were NO drugs currently in Johnny’s system. He also wasn’t depressed. An entry in his journal a week before he passed stated that his depression was gone due to an innovative new brain treatment he was receiving called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). He diligently stayed away from drugs the last few weeks as required by his TMS treatments.
So, if you’re not currently doing drugs and are not depressed, why would you choose to end your life? Because Johnny had several mental illnesses listed on his death certificate. Both the coroner and his psychiatrist agree that he had some sort of mental break or delusion that led him to end his life. We will never know exactly why. His heart was in the right place, but his brain turned against him.
Where did these mental illnesses come from? My husband John and I always suspected the high-potency THC marijuana he did (widely available in Colorado), which led to stronger illicit drugs, which led to more psychosis, in a vicious cycle. Many people say there’s no link, but indeed, several reports have just come out linking high-potency THC to psychosis and suicide:
CBS News: Is High Potency THC Linked to Psychosis
USA Today: Is marijuana linked to psychosis, schizophrenia? It’s contentious, but doctors, feds say yes
Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Legalized Cannabis in Colorado Emergency Departments: A Cautionary Review of Negative Health and Safety Effects
Some key findings in the reports:
- Doctors in Colorado, California and Massachusetts, where marijuana is legal for recreational use, say the facts are irrefutable: Excessive use of high-THC pot and concentrated oil is linked to psychotic episodes that in some cases develop into full-blown schizophrenia.
- In Colorado, there’s been a 77% increase in suicide deaths among 10-to-19-year-olds due to marijuana.
- This isn’t the same marijuana we had back in the 80’s, which had less than 10% THC. Today’s weed has up to 90% TCH, and high-potency THC induces psychosis.
- Marijuana is a “gateway drug” that can lead to usage of other drugs.
Bottom line, overuse of marijuana contributes to psychotic episodes. So, while Johnny didn’t die from an overdose, the drugs he’d done in the past had already done their damage to his brain. He used drugs to “self-medicate” and refused to take the medicines prescribed to him (very common with these illnesses). Yes, of course we talked about it over and over as he grew up.
In this post, I’m specifically referring to young people, whose brains are still forming, obtaining/dabbing pot and doing heavier drugs illegally. It’s legal in Colorado over the age of 21 and can be used successfully for pain management in cancer patients for example. I’m not judging anyone, just sharing my direct experience.
Please share these links and Johnny’s story with any young adults you know, whose brains aren’t formed yet! Let’s not lose any more of our children to misinformation.
“If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.” – David Ellsworth from The Serenity of Selfism