Marijuana Use is Linked to Increased Suicide Risk

Daily marijuana use below age 18 is connected to 7x the risk of attempted suicide before age 30. In today’s world, students have challenges even if they don’t abuse substances.  Marijuana is the most likely drug of abuse for teens. Any substance abuse –marijuana, alcohol, opiates, other drugs, or a combination – generally makes the depression more difficult to overcome.

The town of Pueblo, Colorado has had an alarming trend of suicides among its teens, at least five this year. Although local officials link these deaths to bullying, Pueblo is infiltrated with marijuana and other drugs. Dr. Steven Simerville, head of pediatrics at a Pueblo hospital, has spoken about the connection between marijuana and teen suicide.   In October 2016, he said that all but one of teens who attempted suicide had THC in their toxicology reports.

Suicide rates in Colorado have reached all-time highs, according to a recent report by the Colorado Health Institute. Each one of Colorado’s 21 health regions had a suicide rate higher than the national average.


Parents Opposed to Pot. “Marijuana Use is Linked to Increased Suicide Risk” 9 March 2018. Web. 24 May 2018.


Marijuana Involved in Fatal Crash in Fremont

The CHP is investigating a deadly collision involving five vehicles on Interstate 880 in Fremont that killed three people, including two juveniles. The CHP believes the driver who was responsible for the crash may have been under the influence of marijuana.

There was devastation after a five-vehicle crash left three people dead. The three of them were ejected from their Cadillac Escalade. Five others were inside the Escalade, including four children who were injured and taken to the hospital.

The CHP says it appears the three who died were not wearing their seatbelts.

CHP investigators believe 21-year-old Dang Tran of San Jose was responsible for the crash and driving under the influence of marijuana. Witnesses say Tran was speeding and driving his Toyota Camry erratically before the crash.

Tran faces several charges, including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated as well as counts for DUI and causing bodily injury.

“The decision this person made to drive under the influence changed these people’s lives forever,” CHP Officer Manuel Leal added.

Compared to last year the CHP expects DUI marijuana arrests in the Bay Area will be up by 70 percent by the end of 2018


ABC 7 News. “Teenager, 9-year-old among those killed in triple-fatal crash on I-880 in Fremont” 16 May 2018. Web. 21 May 2018.

The PopPot Report on Child Deaths Directly Linked to Marijuana Use.

Use of pot creates victims, including children who die from neglect or violence when parents, mothers’ boyfriends or caregivers use pot. We have been tracking news reports of child abuse and neglect linked to marijuana since November 2012. The columns show official causes of death related to the caregivers’ marijuana use. We found news reports of 106 such deaths in 30 states; actual number could be much higher. Violent neglect includes marijuana DUI (11), guns (4) and pit bulls. The last column includes infants (9) who died shortly after birth.


Parent Opposed to Pot. “The PopPot Report on Child Deaths Directly Linked to Marijuana Use.” 23 April 2018. Web. 17 May 2018.

A Perplexing Marijuana Side Effect Relieved by Hot Showers

By the time Thomas Hodorowski made the connection between his marijuana habit and the bouts of pain and vomiting, he had been to the emergency room dozens of times, tried anti-nausea drugs, anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants, endured an upper endoscopy procedure and two colonoscopies, seen a psychiatrist and had his appendix and gallbladder removed.

The only way to get relief for the nausea and pain was to take a hot shower. He often stayed in the shower for hours at a time and could be in and out of the shower for days. When the hot water ran out, “the pain was unbearable, like somebody was wringing my stomach out like a washcloth,” said the 28-year-old.

It was nearly 10 years until a doctor finally convinced him the diagnosis was cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, a condition that causes cyclic vomiting in heavy marijuana users and can be cured by quitting marijuana.

Until recently the syndrome was thought to be uncommon or even rare. But as marijuana use has increased, emergency room physicians say they have been seeing a steady flow of patients with the telltale symptoms.

“C.H.S. went from being something we didn’t know about and never talked about to a very common problem over the last five years,” said Dr. Eric Lavonas, director of emergency medicine at Denver Health and a spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Authors of a study based on interviews at Bellevue Hospital in New York City estimated that up to 2.7 million of the 8.3 million Americans known to smoke marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis may suffer from at least occasional bouts of C.H.S.

The condition can be quite serious. One 33-year-old military veteran who asked not to be identified by name described bouts lasting up to 12 hours in which he felt “like a puffer fish with sharp spikes was inflating and driving spikes into my spine from both sides. I’ve broken bones, and this blew it out of the water.”

Patients often arrive at the hospital severely dehydrated from the combination of hot showers and the inability to keep food or liquids down, and that can lead to acute kidney injury, said Dr. Habboushe.

It’s unclear why marijuana can produce such discordant effects in some users. But Dr. Cecilia J. Sorensen, an emergency room doctor at University of Colorado Hospital at the Anschutz medical campus in Aurora, often tells patients that it’s similar to developing an allergy to a favorite food.

Getting the right diagnosis often takes a long time. The average patient makes seven trips to the emergency room, sees five doctors and is hospitalized four times before a definitive diagnosis is made, running up approximately $100,000 in medical bills, Dr. Sorensen’s study found.


The New York Times. “A Perplexing Marijuana Side Effect Relieved by Hot Showers” 5 April 2018. Web. 15 May 2018.

Arkansas man charged with aggravated DUI (including cannabis) following I-57 crash

CHAMPAIGN, IL. (WICS/WRSP) — An Arkansas man has been charged Wednesday by Illinois State Police in relation to one of the car accidents that occurred on I-57 Tuesday afternoon.

41-year-old Jess Plunkett, of Arkansas, was charged with two counts of Aggravated Driving Under the Influence of drugs, both class 4 felonies. He was arraigned Wednesday morning with bond set at $200,000.

Illinois State Police said Plunkett admitted to smoking cannabis and snorting crushed pills just hours before the crash occurred. Plunkett was driving a semi-truck around 2 p.m. that rear-ended three vehicles and the trailer of a semi-truck.


Fox Illinois, WICS News Team. “Arkansas man charged with aggravated DUI (including cannabis) following I-57 crash” May 2018. Web. 10 May 2018.


Labs warn of dangerous, contaminated pot at dispensaries

Recreational cannabis is legal in California but is it safe? As of today, the State Bureau of Cannabis says there are just 57 labs statewide to test millions of pounds of weed and they can’t test it all yet.

According to the cannabis industry association, just 5-percent of cannabis products for sale in the state are tested for safety. And some experts believe as much as half the pot being grown is contaminated with potentially dangerous chemicals or bacteria.

“Pesticides are one of the things, but there are a variety of pathogenic molds and fungus that can also grow on cannabis. it can be dangerous to human beings, especially people who have compromised immune systems,” said [Steve] DeAngelo.

Up until now, pot agriculture has been unregulated. That changed January first. The state now requires testing for 66 pesticides, harmful chemicals, and dangerous fungi.

The state has given growers and sellers until July first to sell the pot they already have -without testing – raising concerns about what is safe.

“A very significant percentage of what we test, would fail in a regulated market,” added [Tony] Daniel.

Anthony Torres is a Senior Researcher at Steep Hill, he showed us a nasty mold covered petri dish and explained, “What I have here is a plated sample from cannabis that is contaminated with a few different types of fungus.”

“So – this looks pretty bad – right? Pretty bad growing on a plate, can you imagine what it would look like growing in your lungs?” he added.

Unfortunately, we may know what such an infection would look like. Doctors at U.C. Davis Medical Center in Sacramento believe a cancer patient died from a rare fungal infection last February. Researchers were able to trace the illness back to the pot that was supposed to make the patient feel better.

Even the chemicals that would have prevented those dangerous fungi from growing could harm you. Fungicides and pesticides that may be safe to use on food, may not be when they are smoked.

Torres explained that one of them is particularly bad, “Upon combustion, myclobutanil forms cyanide gas – which can make it into your bloodstream and it’s very toxic,” he said.


Ken Miguel and Natasha Zouves. “Labs warn of dangerous, contaminated pot at dispensaries” April 2018. Web. 8 May 2018.


Synthetic Cannabinoids Linked To Bleeding

As of May 2, 2018, IDPH has received reports of 159 cases, including four deaths, linked to an outbreak, since March 7, 2018; cases report using synthetic cannabinoid products before suffering from severe bleeding.

Cases report acquiring the synthetic cannabinoid products in counties across the state.  Individuals reported obtaining contaminated synthetic cannabinoid products (i.e., K2, spice, synthetic marijuana, and legal weed) from convenience stores, dealers, and friends.

If you have purchased any of this product in the past month, do not use it.  If you have used any of these products, and start experiencing severe, unexplained bleeding or bruising, please have someone take you to the hospital immediately or call 911. Do not walk or drive yourself. Tell your health care providers about the possible link between your symptoms and synthetic cannabinoid use.

Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made, mind-altering chemicals that are either sprayed on dried, shredded plant material so they can be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other devices. They are sold for recreational drug use with claims they will provide the user the effects of cannabis. These products are also known as herbal or liquid incense and have brand names such as K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Genie, and Zohai, but may be packaged under other brand names also.

These chemicals are called cannabinoids because they are similar to chemicals found in the marijuana plant. Because of this similarity, synthetic cannabinoids are sometimes misleadingly called “synthetic marijuana” (or “fake weed”), and they are often marketed as safe, legal alternatives to that drug. In fact, they are not safe and may affect the brain much more powerfully than marijuana; their actual effects can be unpredictable and, in some cases, more dangerous or even life-threatening.

Synthetic cannabinoids are part of a group of drugs called new psychoactive substances (NPS). NPS are unregulated mind-altering substances that have become newly available on the market and are intended to produce the same effects as illegal drugs. Some of these substances may have been around for years but have reentered the market in altered chemical forms, or due to renewed popularity.


Illinois Department of Public Health. “Synthetic Cannabinoids” 3 May 2018. Web. 2 May 2018.

Colorado governor won’t rule out banning marijuana again. Here’s why

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has two facts in front of him: Since 2014 crime has been rising in his state, outstripping the national trend, and since 2014 recreational use of marijuana has been legal.

Whether the two are connected is hotly debated — and if they are, then what? For the first time publicly, Hickenlooper told CNN he doesn’t rule out recriminalizing recreational marijuana, even if that’s a long shot.


McLean, Scott and Weisfeldt, Sara. “Colorado governor won’t rule out banning marijuana again. Here’s why.” 20 April 2018. Web. 23 April 2018.

Explosion at commercial pot operation leaves 1 in critical condition

HUNTINGTON — An explosion rocked a commercial marijuana growing and processing operation in Huntington on Thursday afternoon sent one to to the hospital.

The Huntington Fire Department and employees from Baker County Sheriff’s Office were called to Burnt River Farms at about 2:38 p.m. Thursday afternoon after a gas leak led to an explosion that injured a Huntington man, according to an article in the Baker City Herald.


Aaron Langley, 28, was in critical condition this morning at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise, according to the article.

Brad Hoaglan, hospital spokesman, confirmed in a phone interview with the Argus this afternoon that Langley is still in critical condition.


Shawn McKay, owner of Burnt River Farms, said the explosion happened at the facility’s marijuana processing lab, according to the article, which was backed up by a press release from the sheriff’s office stating it happened in the room where marijuana oil is extracted.


“It was determined that the explosion was contained to a concrete building on the edge of the property,” the release states.


According to the press release, the investigation into the explosion is ongoing and involves the Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.


Burnt River Farms, at 300 Oregon Trail Blvd., in Huntington, has licenses through the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to produce, process and wholesale recreational marijuana, according to information posted on the OLCC Website as of April 6.


The Argus Observer. “Explosion at commercial pot operation leaves 1 in critical condition.” 13 April 2018. Web. 16 April 2018.

Weaponized Marijuana

Ron Coppola of Vermont explains how Marijuana triggered his son’s schizophrenia at the age of 21. Ron also educates about the costs and harms brought to his family. Legalization of marijuana means more, so the damage to the next generation is infinite.

Adams, Aubree. “Weaponized Marijuana.” Online video clip. YouTube, 16 January 2018. Web. 16 April 2018.