In 2012, I voted to legalize marijuana. I thought it was natural and safe, not realizing that Pandora’s box was being opened and how it would affect my family.
My son graduated high school, Everett Community College, and the Ocean Research College Academy as an honor student. He was motivated, bright, and articulate and had a plan to reach his goal of becoming an actuary. Three years later, he came home from Washington State with a degree in math and a severe addiction to marijuana.
He was dabbing 80 to 90% THC daily. I had no idea how this poison would hi-jack my son’s brain. He became anxious, withdrawn, and depressed, and his thoughts became scrambled. He lost his focus and could barely leave the house. During his first psychotic break, he thought the CIA was after him and said they would bomb our house. He was pacing around, looking for aliens. Later we learned he hears voices that tell him terrible things, to hurt himself or even kill himself. He stopped bathing, brushing his teeth, and caring for himself.
Doctors thought he had bipolar, and when I told them about my son’s marijuana consumption, they said that using marijuana was ok and it would keep him calm. Two years later, a psychiatrist diagnosed him with Cannabis-Induced Psychosis and said he needed to stop using weed. The first time he quit, the symptoms abated after a few weeks. But then, he would start using again because he is addicted. The delusions and hallucinations would return.
Last spring, I found ten 24-ounce bottles labeled 100mg THC-infused lemonade. I read just 10mg can cause symptoms of psychosis, like paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions. He bought them legally on a Saturday, and they were all empty by Monday. We found over 40 empty vape cartridges containing 80% or higher THC. Physically, he was sick, throwing up for days. I thought he was going to die. It is hard to imagine my son getting better and moving on with his life. This has devasted our family.
I believe our country is in a crisis. Through my work with Every Brain Matters, I have talked with many families across the country that have loved ones harmed by THC. The stories you are hearing today are only a small sample of real impact. More people are speaking out today, and the media is starting to report the true harm. Hopefully, people will begin to understand how dangerous high THC concentrates are.
Washington state could be a leader in protecting our families by passing the bill HB 1641, Addressing public health challenges of high-potency cannabis products, And HB 1642, Regulating the sale of cannabis concentrates.
Please join Every Brain Matters to protect our families and communities.
Mary, former Washington state mom