Cannabis ‘gravest threat’ to mental health of young people
Drug potency and misconception as harmless are ‘devastating’, psychiatrists warn…
May 4, 2021, Paul Cullen Health Editor
Cannabis: Psychiatric services could be “overrun” by a surge in young people needing treatment of mental issues linked to the drug.
Cannabis is the “gravest threat” to the mental health of young people in Ireland, a psychiatrists’ group has warned, with an estimated 45,000 15-34 year olds now meeting the criteria for cannabis dependence.
A combination of increasingly potent strains of the drug and a “widespread conception” among the public that it is generally harmless has had “devastating effects”, the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland said.
While calling on the Government to conduct an urgent review of cannabis use and related harms, the college has begun its own information campaign amid concerns that psychiatric services could be “overrun” by a surge in young people needing treatment of mental issues linked to the drug.
The college says there were 877 admissions in 2019 to medical hospitals in Ireland with a cannabis-related diagnosis, four times the figure for 2005.
“As many as one in three young people who use cannabis weekly or more often will likely become addicted,” said Dr Gerry McCarney, a consultant child and adolescent addiction psychiatrist.
“When you consider how potent the drug has become in recent years, it is obvious we are facing a perfect storm which has the potential to overrun our psychiatric services.”
The average age at which children start to try cannabis is 12-14, with many going on to “almost daily” use, and those requiring referral to mental health services aged 15-16 on average, Dr McCarney said.
However, some children as young as seven to eight were “dabbling” in the drug, he added, while 11 year olds have required treatment.
Psychosis and depression
“The earlier you start, the greater the potential risk,” he said. “This is a critical phase of young people’s lives, a time of learning and the opening of career opportunities. You don’t get that time back again if it’s lost to cannabis misuse.”
Mental health issues associated with cannabis use include psychosis, depression, anxiety disorders and suicidal behaviour. These have been exacerbated by rising levels of THC, the psychoactive part of the drug, in cannabis in recent years.
College president Dr William Flannery said cannabis use was increasing but “there is still a general feeling among the public that the drug is mostly harmless”. “This conception needs to be challenged at every turn because psychiatric services are under huge pressure due to this problem.”
Do you or does someone close to you smoke Weed or use Cannabis products? Are you wondering about the down side, about the health risks?
With the rush to legalize marijuana, it has been lost in the haze that marijuana is a psychoactive drug. A drug that can lead to serious health problems in some people, not everybody. Most vulnerable are adolescents, young adults, and pregnant women, but heavy or chronic use of Weed can also lead to dependence and health complications for people at all ages. Be informed, what you don’t know can hurt you.
About the Author
Kevin G. Becker received a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1989 in Molecular Biology and Genetics. He spent 30 years as a scientist in the Intramural Research Program of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. This included postdoctoral fellowships at the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, Neurological Diseases and Stroke, and The National Human Genome Research Institute. He was a Staff Scientist at the National Institute on Aging for over 20 years. He has published on a broad range of topics including aging, autoimmune disease including multiple sclerosis, autism, bioinformatics, gene expression, genetics, immunity, metabolism and neuroscience. At the NIA he often collaborated with investigators from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He is an author or co-author on over 300 peer reviewed scientific publications. To get the book, Click Here
Parents Opposed to Pot cites 256 marijuana-related child deaths in a plea not to legalize MJ.
MERRIFIELD, VA, US, March 30, 2021 — As New York and Virginia legislators move closer to marijuana legalization this week, they should consider the traffic deaths of children whose caregivers drove after using marijuana. In the Bronx, New York, Sincere Mitchell, 8, died in a crash when his father was drunk and high on THC. In Virginia, Brian Cameron Hughes died after his mother’s boyfriend crashed, admitting he had smoked marijuana before driving.
“Those pushing for cannabis legalization want to keep marijuana users from getting arrest records. But legislators need to consider the potential loss of life from THC-impaired drivers on our roads,” explains Corinne Gasper, who lost her daughter to a speeding driver with high levels of THC in his system.
Currently, law enforcement cannot adequately test or prove THC-impairment of motorists. Parents Opposed to Pot (PopPot.org), a Merrifield, VA, non-profit, finds news reports of at least 115 U.S. traffic deaths in which marijuana is the only impairing substance and many more deaths with marijuana and other drug mixtures.
Poppot.org also tracks child abuse and neglect deaths related to parent and caregiver pot use, finding 256 deaths in news reports since the first two states voted to legalize pot in 2012. This count includes deaths of 29 children that occurred because a parent or caregiver drove while impaired by marijuana and 23 who died from infant THC exposure, mainly in infants.
Marijuana, the most common drug found in child abuse or neglect deaths
Parents Opposed to Pot’s tracking is informal, based on how much information gets reported by the press. The federal government requires all states to report child fatalities related to abuse or neglect. In three states that report on specific drugs connected to such deaths, Texas, Arizona, and Florida – not states with the highest rate of pot use– marijuana consistently comes up as the number one drug, more than alcohol.
In Colorado, a father, Isaac Bullard was recently sentenced for the death of his 23-month son. After “dabbing” high potency pot one morning, he forgot to put his son in the car and backed out over him.
When PopPot.org first started tracking child abuse deaths linked to pot, Colorado and California led in the tally of deaths from late 2012 to 2015. Today, Pennsylvania leads Poppot’s count, with 25 deaths, most of them having occurred recently. Since medical marijuana was argued in the state legislature (the bill passed in April 2016), it seems that more children have been born to mothers who used during pregnancy or post-partum. Mothers using marijuana during pregnancy or postpartum pose many risks to their children, including low birth weight and breathing issues. Twelve of the Pennsylvania deaths involve THC exposure.
Marijuana impairs memory and executive functioning which can lead to poor judgement. Other side effects include: distortion of time, addiction, paranoia, anxiety and mood disorders. The worst outcome is psychosis which, if left untreated or not resolved by quitting drug use, can become schizophrenia. An adult who is high or in psychosis may fail to give adequate supervision, or may act violently towards a child.
Fires, drownings, hot cars
Eighteen children died in fires related to parents using pot. Three sets of twins, all toddlers, died in fires, either because their moms left home and abandoned them in order to acquire marijuana, or, in one case of a father given court-ordered visitation, the parent fell asleep after smoking it.
California has reported many instances of child endangerment when children were present at home marijuana labs, called butane hash oil labs. Two of 18 children who died by fire involved BHO explosions and at least three children had to be treated for BHO burns on more than half of their bodies.
Twenty-five children died from drowning, 8 of them in Florida. Adult marijuana use was a likely factor in at least 21 hot car deaths of infants and toddlers since 2013.
Parents Opposed to Pot is a 501c3 educational nonprofit based in northern Virginia. Contact at 773-322-7523 or visit the website, poppot.org, Facebook @poppotorg.
For more Cannabis & Child Neglect
We are letting pot profiteers prey on our teens/young adults and they and their families suffer
Excerpt: “In my son’s two-plus years of treatment in three different states [and $250k], there were only two other young men of color in any of the programs. My son is back in Colorado where he lives independently and works full time in the meat-packing industry. He recently graduated from an alternative high school and plans on attending college in the fall. All the while, he continues to use marijuana concentrates. We are grateful for his progress, yet to this day, we count ourselves as one of the “lucky” families, knowing it could all literally change at any moment. My son is not alone. He is not the exception. Both he and we will have to deal with this for the rest of our lives.”
Marijuana is the number one drug found in completed teen suicides in Colorado.
- Completed suicides in Colorado have increased steadily from 2004 to 2018. Marijuana was present in 12.8% of all 14,229 suicides. For all ages, alcohol was the leading cause of drug found on death at 35.5%. However, for ages 10 – 19, marijuana was the leading drug found in 19.8% or 943 completed suicides, surpassing alcohol at 12.8%.
- Adolescent suicides in Colorado had 16.1% positive marijuana toxicology. 269 adolescent suicide cases in Colorado were analyzed. Marijuana was found in 16.1% of adolescent suicide cases (age 10-19) compared with 6.9% of adults. Marijuana was found more than alcohol (12.7%) on toxicology results.
Marijuana legalization is child abuse.
Legalization increases youth use. States with legal marijuana have the
highest use rates among 12-25 year olds. States without it have the lowest rates.
The brain is not fully developed until the mid to late 20’s. Any marijuana use during brain development can have serious and lasting impacts.
Marijuana use can have dramatic negative impacts on children, teens and young adults
- Youth Marijuana Addiction Rate Double Rate of Alcohol & Other Substance Use Disorders
- Marijuana is the #1 drug for which teens and young adults seek addiction therapy.
- States that have “legalized” have higher teen and young adult use.
- The average age of marijuana introduction in some states is 12 years
- Teen cannabis use lowers IQ, despite claims to the contrary
- Use causes lung damage.
- Use can result in amotivational syndrome (failure to launch).
- Marijuana use increases educational drop out.
- Impacts to reproductive system.
Contaminates and poisons are commonplace in marijuana products.
Colorado’s largest marijuana corporations caught using the notorious Eagle-20 Fungicide on their marijuana plants. Eagle-20 is designed only for outdoor ornamental plants, i.e. outside flowers that you only look at, not plants consumed by humans, and definitely not for indoor enclosed environments. Eagle-20 contains myclobutanil, a chemical which, when heated, turns into hydrogen cyanide, a lethal gas. The effects of this awful gas are even more pronounced when it is concentrated and stuck into artificial plastic vape pens for heating, which are easier to carry and harder to detect, thus have become the preferred method of consumption for teens, along with glass “dab rigs” that resemble crack pipes.
AALM urges all parents and grandparents to talk to their kids and young adults daily about the dangers or marijuana and other drugs and seek help from informed parent groups such as Parent Movement 2.0.
“Marijuana Legalization is being aggressively pushed across the country by a motivated, well-funded and politically sophisticated industry – these efforts are taking away every family’s right to live in pot-free communities”
Each April 20th pot heads celebrate “their” special holiday. It harkens back to high school students in San Rafael California who designated 4:20 pm as the time they would gather to smoke weed. Today 420 designates anything marijuana and remains as juvenile as its beginnings.
“Legalization” is worse than a Failure
- The promises of pro legalizers have not materialized.
- The black market has increased not decreased – There is no longer a concern about marijuana coming across the border. California and other “legalized” states are the drug cartel for the country.
- More teen uses in legalized states and they use more often and the pot they use is stronger.
- Marijuana related arrests don’t decrease, and the arrests are disproportionately of black and brown people.
- Marijuana tax revenues are much lower than promised and don’t come close to covering the cost of the harms.
- Regulations are weak or non-existent
- More law enforcement resources are needed to deal with marijuana after legalization.
- The harms of pot have increased in “legal” states as the potency and use have increased.
- Use and addiction are up.
- Teen addiction to marijuana addiction is double what it is for alcohol
- Marijuana related auto collisions and deaths are up.
- Marijuana is the most common illicit drug identified in impaired drivers.
- Risk of motor vehicle collision increases 2-fold after smoking marijuana.
- Teen suicides have increased in states that have legalized.
- Marijuana related ER admissions are skyrocketing in “legal” states.
- Now that the drug is “above ground” the influence of drug dealers has been expanded and institutionalized
- Major marketing and ad campaigns are commonplace.
- Unscrupulous investors see the pot industry as another potential .com boom.
- Pot lobbyists and lawyers are ubiquitous in DC and every city where pot is welcomed.
- Candidates and elected officials receive millions in donations to do the bidding of the pot industry.
- Big corporations are taking over the marijuana market.
Robert Cory, considered the founding father of pot legalization in Colorado, says it this way, “I wish I could be proud of what we created, but I’m not. The outcome of 64 is shameful, hurts people, and Colorado is not “safer.”
For more 10-DAY COUNTDOWN TO 420
The late great state of New York
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the most dangerous of marijuana legalization models possible last week. Meanwhile, Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia signaled his support to push up marijuana legalization to July 1. Both governors allow themselves to be pushed around and manipulated by activist groups like the Drug Policy Alliance, NORML, and the ACLU.
The next day, a memo went out to New York City police. The NYPD memo told cops that smoking marijuana in places such as sidewalks, on front stops, and other public places “is not a basis for an approach, stop, summons, arrest or, search.”
A new study shows that secondhand marijuana smoke is more dangerous than tobacco smoke.
The New York law infringes on the rights of non-marijuana users and those who are allergic to marijuana. A few months ago, a pot smoker pushed a woman whose husband asked him to stop smoking onto the tracks of a New York subway station. It was the type of violent reaction expected of a marijuana smoker, not a tobacco smoker. Pot users going violent or psychotic in densely-populated places will cause terror.
Home grows another big mistake
New York could have learned from the mistakes of other states and lessened the blow of legalizing pot by eliminating home grows and putting in potency caps. Home grows, as allowed in states like California and Colorado, are magnets for crime. A week ago, six thieves broke into a marijuana house near Long Beach, California. They were shot by the homeowner, and two men died.
The home-grow allowance is one of the reasons that the illegal marijuana market grows after legalization. Marijuana means money and everyone wants to get into the game. Would-be marijuana dealers can do it in their basements and avoid surveillance. Home growers strain the electric grids and drive up prices for the public, or even steal electricity by tapping into energy sources illegally. The New York residents who were caught growing in Massachusetts after having $10,000 electric bills will no longer need to move to other states.
The New York law allows six home-grown plants. Home grows allowances tie the hands of law enforcement. Police may not conduct searches if neighbors complain of the stench or observe questionable activity in the neighborhood.
Of course, the home grows were going on before legalization, but now New York made it easier. Fire Captain Michael Fahy was killed in 2016 while fighting a fire at an illegal marijuana growhouse in the Bronx. His state senator voted in favor of marijuana legalization.
Possession limits are outrageous
The 3-oz flower and 24-gram concentrate possession limits are outrageous. Our science experts calculate that:
24 grams concentrate that is 80% THC = 19,200mg THC
3 oz Flower at 3% THC = approx. 252 (0.333g) joints: 10mg THC per joint x 84 joints/1oz=840mg THC in 1oz. or 2,520mg THC in 3oz
3 oz Flower at 30% THC = approx. 252 (0.333g) joints: 100mg THC per joint x 84 joints/1oz=8400mg THC in 1oz or 25,200mg THC in 3 oz.
Excessive limits invite drug dealing that will undercut a state-regulated marijuana market.
Equity and “social justice” provisions in the bill amount to gaslighting
Both the New York and Virginia bills claim to set aside licenses for minorities, to bring about equity for communities hit hard by the “war on drugs.” Huge corporations, including tobacco companies, are buying up marijuana companies and they soon will monopolize the industry, except for the home grows.
When polls say people want legalization, the people want marijuana decriminalized, not commercialized and promoted. The people don’t want the corporate model. Nor do they want neighbors growing smelly, skunk stuff and drug dealers buying up multiple homes — both of which will become the reality.
The New York law allows only six home-grown plants, but to law enforcement, there will be no difference between two plants and 40 plants. Already in most of the United States, the smell or presence of marijuana has become an excuse to let people go. It happened two weeks ago when a speeding driver in Houston killed a woman and her three children. Police had stopped him for speeding 30 minutes earlier and discarded his marijuana, but they couldn’t determine that he was impaired. New York passed it’s law with no good ways to determine THC-impairment in drivers.
Three years after legalization, 80 percent of the marijuana sold in California goes to the illegal market. Meanwhile, minorities in California who try to get into the industry go broke, as regulators shut them out. What makes New York think it can do better?
Foolish political thinking
Tax revenue from marijuana sales would cover the costs of administering the program. After that, 40 percent of any remaining dollars would go to a community reinvestment fund, 40 percent would support the state’s public schools and 20 percent would fund drug treatment facilities and public education programs.
The point of 40% of residual tax money for schools? pouring more money into failing schools and further compromising educational achievement by normalizing “stoned classrooms”?
The point of 20% for treatment? The legislation enables more people to become addicted then puts them in treatment with revenue raised from the new people who become addicted. It’s a law that creates (or worsens an existing problem) to solve a problem.
The US gave up the War on Drugs years ago, but the drug lobby still pushes the false narrative which gets so much political mileage.
More from Parent Opposed to Pot
Redlands’ shocking drug-related offenders of the past year | The Courier Mail
Presiding Magistrate Deborah Vasta at Cleveland Magistrates Court at times likens drug-fuelled offenders’ desperate activities to that of “cockroaches scurrying about in the dark” not as a cruel taunt, but as a graphic description to reflect to them its lowly nature.
It comes as the Redlands battles an ever-pressing advance of hard drugs, especially methamphetamine – or ice.
For the uninformed, the Redlands, graced with its envied natural landscapes and sought-after, friendly suburbs may represent paradise, yet drug abuse and its accompanying crimes thrive.
The casual visitor at the court might baulk at its prevalence.
From offenders driving stolen vehicles with reckless abandon, a late night home invasion by a drugged up horde of “thugs”, an ice-crazed, shotgun-toting arborist’s chilling threat to an off-duty cop or a once successful property owner’s slide into peddling stolen Lego to feed an insatiable lust for ice – we look at some of Cleveland Magistrates Courts’ more disturbing cases of late.
Trent Strange pleaded guilty to multiple weapons offences in Cleveland Magistrates Court after chasing residents with a stolen shotgun in November. Picture: Facebook
TRENT MATTHEW STRANGE, 31
The defendant pointed his shotgun at the officer and said: “What the f*** are you looking at?”
A meth-bingeing arborist who chased multiple residents, including an off-duty police officer, with a stolen shotgun in the delusional belief that they were paedophiles, had been six years’ off drugs when he had a spectacular relapse, the court heard.
Appearing via video link from Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre on March 1, Trent Matthew Strange, 31, pleaded guilty to a slew of charges including unlawful possession of weapons Category A, B or M; dangerous conduct with weapon; conduct likely to cause alarm with firearm and possession of dangerous drugs, among others.
The court heard multiple terrified residents ran down Redland Bay Road in Capalaba on November 28 at around 9.30am, jumping over fences and hiding in strangers’ homes with a heavily meth-affected, shotgun-toting Strange in pursuit.
In scenes that Magistrate Deborah Vasta described as “like something out of a movie” Strange sent an off-duty police officer, who happened to be purchasing wood in the area, fleeing.
The defendant, the court heard, pointed his shotgun at the officer and said: “What the f*** are you looking at?”
The court was told Strange had undergone a “significant relapse” after years of sobriety when he “wandered over” from a neighbouring yard sale into a Redland Bay Road property in Capalaba on the day of the attack.
“Erratic”, “aggressive” and uttering nonsensical statements a delusional Strange found a black shotgun in an open safe in the back corner of a licensed firearm owner’s shed with which he terrified the street.
Strange’s defence solicitor Kristy Bell, acknowledging it did not lesson his victims’ terror, noted that the shotgun was not loaded and could not have been fired.
Having served 83 days in pre-sentence custody at the time, Strange was sentenced to 12 months’ prison with immediate parole and three years’ probation.
The defendant was also banned from contacting and of coming within 100 metres of his victims.
Jakob Porima has been jailed for breaking in to a family’s home in the company of four other males while the residents were present. Picture: Facebook
JAKOB PORIMA, 19
“Every night those kids go to bed, what do you think goes through their heads?”
Last month a teenager claimed through his defence solicitor that he was so drug-affected when he forced his way, with four “thug mates”, into an unsuspecting family’s home at night that he couldn’t remember it, despite “terrorising” his victims.
After a father was bowled over by the five men, a mother with her young daughter was so afraid she broke through an upstairs flyscreen to keep her children from the group’s advances.
Appearing in the dock at Cleveland Magistrates Court on February 22 a teary Jakob Porima, 19, pleaded guilty to entering premises with intent, entering premises with intent at night in company, and attempted entering of a dwelling to commit an indictable offence.
The court heard the Capalaba man barged into a house in his suburb about 10pm on June 8 after knocking loudly on a front door.
Unknown to their victims Porima, with four other males, forced their way into the household, bowling over the father who responded to the knock at the door.
The court heard the victim’s “terrified” partner broke out a flyscreen to help her 10 and six-year-old children escape via an upstairs window.
A police prosecutor said although no physical injuries occurred the household, and especially its children, would have been affected by the “mentally traumatic event”.
Porima, who was recently jailed for three months for similar offending and was on parole at the time, was denounced by Magistrate Deborah Vasta for the trauma he and his “thug mates” may have caused the family.
“I don’t have much sympathy for you,” Magistrate Vasta said.
“The community is sick to death of this type of offending.
“They (the family) must have been absolutely terrified.
“Every night those kids go to bed, what do you think goes through their heads?”
Defence solicitor Rhys Foster said his client was significantly affected by drugs at the time of the offences and claimed to not remember much about them.
Porima was sentenced to two years’ jail for his June 8 offence with an August 21 parole date.
Brandyn-Lee Small will spend months in jail for escaping police custody and wilful damage. Picture: Facebook
BRANDYN-LEE SMALL, 21
Smashed body panels and “each and every window” in a “quite controlled” fit of fury with a large crowbar that ended with him standing on the bonnet.
Earlier this month the court heard a 21-year-old man who caused nearly $7,000 in damages when he smashed up a car and who wasted thousands of dollars of public money when a dog squad and police helicopter were activated during an escape, had been addicted to ice since he was 16 years old.
The court heard his meth addiction drove much of his offending.
Described at court as having the temperament of a three-year-old when angry Kingston man Brandyn-Lee Small pleaded guilty to escape by persons in custody and wilful damage when he appeared via video link on March 23.
The court heard Small on October 28 attended the residence of people known to him to discuss the ownership of a motorcycle.
The victims fled their own residence in their heavily damaged vehicle after an “enraged” Small smashed body panels and “each and every window” in a “quite controlled” fit of fury with a large crowbar that ended with him standing on the bonnet.
On October 30 police spotted Small walking towards them at a Capalaba location, questioned him and initiated an arrest.
However Small, exclaiming “f**k this s**t” broke free from officers, the court heard, and led them on an extensive chase which involved a dog squad and police helicopter.
Officers caught up with the defendant on December 1.
Small was sentenced to six months’ jail and ordered to pay his victims $6,870.45 in restitution.
Julie-Anne Remmert, 35, of Logan Central had her bail denied at Cleveland Magistrates Court. Picture: Supplied
JULIE-ANNE REMMERT, 35
“You walked into a court with 9.4 grams of ice … How crazy is that?”
A woman who walked into court with more than 9 grams of meth in her possession while drug-affected was in September assured by a magistrate she would not be getting bail unless she could secure placement at a live-in rehabilitation centre.
A tearful Julie-Anne Remmert, 35, appeared via video link from jail at Cleveland Magistrates Court on September 24 on a string of drug possession charges and had her bail denied for a second time.
The court heard Logan Central woman Remmert had appeared at the court on August 18 carrying 9.41 grams of the drug ice – worth an estimated $2,700 on the street – and was promptly arrested.
Having spent some five weeks in custody at the time of her appearance, Remmert told the court she was desperate to get out since she had dried out.
The court heard the defendant had called four rehabilitation centres but had failed in securing a placement which did little to reassure Magistrate Deborah Vasta.
“You walked into a court with 9.4 grams of ice,” Magistrate Vasta said.
“How crazy is that?
“You have a raging drug addiction as is evidenced by you bringing over 9 grams of it to court.
“I don’t accept that you can’t get into rehab.”
Remmert ultimately received a conviction for her offending at a later date.
Katrina Shipp. Picture: Facebook.
KATRINA SHIPP, 46
“Do you really want to be chained to this drug for the rest of your life?”
Mount Gravatt woman Katrina Shipp was sentenced in Cleveland Magistrates Court to 18 months’ probation and two months’ imprisonment to be served in the community under an intensive corrections order on charges of stealing and multiple drug offences.
The stealing offence related to brake pads worth $87 from Supercheap Auto Cleveland.
On March 28 last year, Shipp placed the goods in a bag and simply walked out of the store to a vehicle, the registration of which was used to identify her.
The drug charges related to an incident on June 22.
The court was told police heard a glass meth pipe break as it was dropped out of a vehicle intercepted at 6.40pm in Bowen Hills and could still see smoke from the drug in the interior.
Officers discovered a broken glass ice pipe, digital scales, clip seal bags and methamphetamine stored in a shoebox in the vehicle driven by Shipp.
Defence solicitor Rhys Foster said his client had been given her first taste of meth in 2016 after the death of her mother and had started offending in 2017.
Having shown the court dramatic images of before and after images of ice users, Magistrate Deborah Vasta said time was of the essence when treating addiction.
“Do you really want to be chained to this drug for the rest of your life?” she asked.
Eugene Bradshaw shows off his bodybuilding efforts. Picture: Facebook.
EUGENE FRANCIS BRADSHAW, 29
“You are someone who wasn’t brought up with violence and yet on a couple of occasions you behaved in a very aggressive and violent manner. And that is what ice does to you.”
In December an enormous bodybuilder who had built up a car cleaning business and had finished all but three subjects of a Master’s degree in Physiotherapy, was given a criminal conviction for defying a probation order after violent offending spurred by an addiction to ice and cocaine.
Dwarfing others at Cleveland Magistrates Court on December 8 Eugene Francis Bradshaw, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of contravene requirement of community based order.
The court heard Bradshaw breached an 18-month probation order he was sentenced to for a common assault and assault occasioning bodily harm in 2018.
Having completed 80 hours of community service as part of the order, the Middle Park man and car cleaning business owner missed appointments prescribed by his probation order and did not engage with domestic violence services, according to a probation officer.
But it was Bradshaw’s propensity for drug-fuelled violence that most concerned Magistrate Deborah Vasta.
“My concern is he is still hiding behind his drug use and I think the drugs were behind his violent behaviour on his last girlfriend on that night, where he could have very easily been charged with unlawful striking causing death,” Magistrate Vasta said.
Supported at court by his parents, who defence barrister James Veivers described as notable academics from Warwick, the defendant was said to be ashamed to still be drug dependent.
In a sobering gesture, Mr Veivers pointed to the dock and said his client understood where he would end up were he to continue with an admitted five-year addiction to ice and cocaine.
“I think it is the ice,” Magistrate Vasta said.
“You are someone who wasn’t brought up with violence and yet on a couple of occasions you behaved in a very aggressive and violent manner.
“And that is what ice does to you”.
Deemed not suitable for probation by the court Bradshaw was ordered to complete 80 hours of community service.
A conviction was recorded.
Meth addiction drives father’s vile offending.
“You are just crucifying your family,”
In April a drug-fuelled Victoria Point serial upskirter agreed with a magistrate that he was “crucifying his family” with his deviant behaviour which included terrorising a woman with her young daughter.
Paul Edwards, 33, pleaded guilty to seven counts of making observations or recordings in breach of privacy when he appeared at the Cleveland Magistrates Court on April 17 via video link.
The court heard Edwards had filmed the anal and genital regions of women without their consent at numerous locales including Victoria Point Bunnings, McDonalds, Victoria Point Tavern and a local shopping centre between June and December of 2019.
His covert filming lasted between 15 seconds to nearly five minutes and in one instance included a young girl.
On December 20, 2019 a victim nearly fell over a crouched down Edwards on Colburn Ave.
The frightened woman, who was with her child, was smirked at by Edwards after she hid in her locked vehicle.
The court heard Edwards’ serial and compulsive offending was driven by an addiction to methamphetamine, for which he had completed numerous drug counselling courses.
Magistrate Deborah Vasta said she did not believe Edwards’ offending was oriented to children but condemned his “creepy behaviour”.
“You are just crucifying your family,” Magistrate Vasta said.
Edwards was fined $300 and sentenced to nine months’ prison with immediate release on six months’ parole and three years’ probation.
A conviction was recorded.
Prison the only option for out of control offender.
JENNA-LEE WOOD, 30
“Nothing was going to stop you … You were on a path towards destruction.”
A young mother whose life spiralled out of control after a dramatic uptake of hard drugs was released from jail on February 1 after a court’s attempt to curtail her “path towards destruction”.
Appearing via video link from custody at the Cleveland Magistrates Court Jenna-Lee Wood, 30, sobbed when she realised she would be released after a three-month stint behind bars.
The Wynnum woman pleaded guilty to more than a dozen charges, including being in possession of cocaine, methamphetamine, cannabis and drug utensils.
However, her “most serious” charges were for twice committing fraud at jewellery stores to the tune of thousands of dollars by using stolen identities, and illegally using rental vehicles, for which she was charged with unlawful use of vehicle and unlawful possession of vehicle.
With no criminal history before her precipitous downfall to drugs in 2019, Wood was warned by the court jail was the only option for her at the time of her arrest.
“Nothing was going to stop you,” Magistrate Deborah Vasta said.
“You were on a path towards destruction.”
The court heard the defendant used a stolen identity to secure $1,523 in finance at Prouds the Jewellers at Carindale on October 4 in 2019, and defrauded Prouds the Jewellers in Wynnum of $1418 the day after.
Defence solicitor Jon Ide said his client had no criminal record prior to her 2019 downfall to drugs and was the mother of a nine-year-old.
Wood was fined $300 and sentenced to three months’ prison with immediate parole.
Ice drags successful man into drugged despair.
CAMERON PATRICK DAVEY, 33
“I have done everything I can … you need a taste of prison.”
In December the court heard how a man’s successful life had imploded in the face of a fierce drug addiction that reduced him to stealing thousands of dollars in Lego to satisfy his ice habit.
A well dressed Cameron Patrick Davey, 33, cut a forlorn figure as he was taken into custody on December 4.
It came after Victoria Point man Davey pleaded guilty to a string of offences including eight counts of stealing, three counts of trespass, attempted fraud and receiving tainted goods among others.
The court heard Davey’s was an example of a successful life imploded by a fierce drug addiction.
Introduced to meth during a toxic relationship, the court was told, the defendant discarded a wholesome relationship, lost two properties and became insolvent in the space of a few years as his spiral became all consuming.
A police prosecutor said the man would admit to police that he, together with his then partner, orchestrated a series of desperate Lego thefts:
Davey stole more than $4,000 in the building blocks on six occasions between May 21 and September 25.
Working with his partner while using a trolley to secrete Lego under other parcels the thieving duo hit Cannon Hill Kmart, Robina Kmart, Coomera Target, Pacific Fair Target in Broadbeach and Mr Toys Toyworld in Chermside.
The court heard a September 4 raid on a Capalaba residence uncovered 19 boxes of the toys, which did not include parcels already sold on to fund ice.
Having previously given the man the benefit of a good behaviour bond, community service, probation and bail for similar offending – only for him to reoffend within days – Magistrate Deborah Vasta did not hesitate to give him “a taste of prison”.
“My entire efforts to change your ways have been completely ignored,” Magistrate Vasta said.
“I have done everything I can … you need a taste of prison.”
Davey was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment with a December 24 parole date and two-and-a-half years’ probation.
He was further fined $300 for a breach of community service order and ordered to pay $2,275 for his part in the thefts.
Jacob Anthony Keneally was jail for vehicle theft.
JACOB ANTHONY KENEALLY, 31
“You have had nine years of the courts trying to get you off drugs.”
In June Magistrate Deborah Vasta made plain her disgust for an ice-user’s community-damaging offending and did not accept “the scourge of ice” as a legitimate explanation for his “completely selfish” behaviour.
It came after Wynnum man Jacob Anthony Keneally, 31, pleaded guilty to breaking and entering and unlawful use of a vehicle when he appeared via video link on June 2.
The court heard Wynnum local Keneally had stolen a Mitsubishi Lancer from an Alexandra Hills dwelling at around 6am on February 28, while the residents were home, and caused over $4,000 in damages to it.
“I for one am absolutely sick to death of people just breaking into houses and stealing cars,” Magistrate Deborah Vasta said.
“This type of offence has really crept into our society in the last 10 years.
“And it is not explained by drugs, it is explained by a complete disregard for others’ property and rights.”
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Duncan Blackburn said the offending had occurred while the defendant had been on parole for another vehicle theft and said the man’s behaviour seemed to be driven by drugs based on a “smattering” of drug offences on his record.
Defence solicitor Bruce Johnstone said the offending could be put down to “the scourge of ice”.
“It is just one of those situations where prison will be a revolving door if he doesn’t get his act together,” Mr Johnstone said.
However, the explanation won little favour with the magistrate who would not entertain drugs as a “convenient excuse”.
“This is just thinking it is absolutely acceptable to enter someone’s private dwelling and not only steal their car and drive it around but the reckless way that he has used that vehicle, without any care in the world because he is not the one who paid for it.
“He didn’t work hard to earn that car, so this excuse that it is drugs doesn’t wash with me.
“You’ve just gone in and helped yourself.
“It is just completely selfish and you don’t care about the damage you are doing.
“You have had nine years of the courts trying to get you off drugs.
“When will you decide you have had enough? Because I can assure you society has had enough.”
Keneally was convicted, sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment with a parole eligibility date of July 1 and ordered to pay $4,188 in restitution.
Local news for Redland City Newsletter
Hi Paul, get trusted local news delivered straight to your inbox.
More related stories
“A history of extreme violence”: Prosecutors have warned a man released today on bail was an “unacceptable risk” following an intercept that allegedly involved a knife, fake pistol and uncapped needle.
For complete article Courier Mail
A founding father of legal pot reveals regrets | PERSPECTIVE
- Robert Corry April 2021
People attending an Amendment 64 watch party celebrate on Nov. 2012, after a local television station announced the marijuana amendment’s passage in Denver.
Editor’s note: Robert Corry played a prominent and pivotal role in the movement to legalize marijuana in Colorado. The University of Colorado graduate and Stanford-trained lawyer helped draft ground-breaking Amendment 64 on Colorado’s 2012 state-wide ballot — permitting production and retail sales of recreational pot. Corry also designed and implemented the dispensary framework for patients and caregivers under Amendment 20, enacted by the state’s voters in 2000 to allow medical use of marijuana. As a trial attorney, he represented hundreds of clients accused of marijuana-related offenses, and he litigated cases and administrative actions involving Amendment 64’s implementation. Yet, nearly a decade after voter approval of his handiwork, he now professes deep disappointment and wide-ranging regrets. In today’s Perspective, he issues a searing indictment of how legalization has turned out. He decries the legal marijuana industry’s “crony” capitalism and its cozy relationship with government. He lets on, “I wish I could be proud of what we created, but I’m not. The outcome of 64 is shameful, hurts people, and Colorado is not ‘safer.’ ”
We started with the best of intentions. Colorado Amendment 64, which I helped draft, made three promises:
- End marijuana prohibition; legalize it; protect individual rights to grow and distribute on a personal level; focus limited police resources against real crime with actual victims.
- Create a free-enterprise system, taxed and regulated similar to alcohol for commercial sales, to allow for true competition and innovation by upstanding businesspeople.
- Regulate industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity distinct from the psychoactive drug. To be legally considered hemp, plants and finished product must meet a strict ceiling of 0.3% or less delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), the psychoactive ingredient.
Based on these three promises, Colorado voters passed 64, the “Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative.” The campaign focused on the question of what is “safer,” marijuana or alcohol. SAFER (Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation) was the name of the primary advocacy organization behind 64.
I helped write Amendment 64, litigated numerous cases before and after 64 to make it a reality, and also helped design implementing regulations at the state and local levels.
I wish I could be proud of what we created, but I’m not. The outcome of 64 is shameful, hurts people, and Colorado is not “safer.”
I have remained consistent through the years in advocating for legalization, an end to marijuana prohibition, and an end to criminal prosecution of marijuana offenses.
What I have changed my mind on — applying current reality I was too naive to anticipate 10 years ago — is the wisdom of a commercialized, for-profit, elitist, government-protected, privileged, monopolistic industry that perpetuates itself and its obscene profits, to the detriment of the public good and the planet earth.
No true free enterprise exists in this regulated industry, but rather a small oligopoly of crony capitalists who are given privileged government licenses. Licenses are capped, and new entry is nearly impossible. Extreme regulations are created and supported by the big players, and benefit these big players over smaller competitors. The regulators daily pass through an unrestrained revolving door between government and the industry they supposedly regulate. True competition is lacking. Industry exploits its centrally planned regulatory system to fix inflated prices, and government chips in extreme taxes at levels imposed on no other product. Regressive pricing disproportionately harms the poor. And the quality of this overpriced commercialized product is awful, and harmful to adults and children alike. No wonder we still grow it ourselves, even though that’s still a crime.
The inmates are running Colorado’s marijuana asylum. Amendment 64 created a corporate lobby that punches far above its weight. To demonstrate this industry’s unjustified political clout, even during a pandemic, the governor and the Denver mayor deemed marijuana businesses “essential,” while schools, churches, gyms, and most other nonbig box stores were shut. So, it was not “essential” to educate our children — our future — but it was “essential” to maintain those children’s access to high-potency corporate marijuana. And access it they surely do.
The pot lobby has cleverly cultivated an image of hip social responsibility. But underneath the hipster beards and effete skinny jeans, lurks old-fashioned corporate crony greed, rent-seeking, and regressive suppression of the poor. The fawning that legislators and executive branch officials bestow on this criminal cabal is mystifying.
Especially with a supposedly “progressive” Legislature. This industry genetically modifies plants at a level that would make Monsanto blush, fouls our planet with chemicals and wasteful growing systems, harms the poor and children, is dominated by the wealthy and privileged, and proclaims its brilliance to a nauseating degree.
… To genetically engineer high THC levels, corporations grow indoors, in gigantic football-field sized warehouses. Growers of this GMO eliminate the plant’s natural pollination process and clone mutant female plants as inbred, and thus weaker and more susceptible. To duplicate the light of the sun requires arrays of large artificial lights, emitting extremely hot temperatures and using massive quantities of energy. Growers “trick” the mutant plants into excessive flowering by artificially altering daytime or growing seasons indoors. Massive rows of air conditioning units run day and night to cool indoor growing operations, taxing power grids. Big air fans also need to keep dank air moving inside. Genetically modified indoor plants are also more susceptible to environmental pests such as powdery mildew, black mold, spider mites, or others which feast on the indoor plants within the controlled environment without natural predators. To kill bugs, growers soak the plants in chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. The toxic carcinogens are ingested by the consumer or run off directly into Colorado’s scarce water.
See also Cannabis GIANT Carbon Footprint
On a proportional basis, corporate marijuana is Colorado’s worst environmental polluter. It pumps chemicals and carbon greenhouse gases into our air, uses tons of energy, harms our climate, dirties our drinking water, and ruins our environment. It stinks, literally and figuratively. Most of the foul-smelling warehouses are next door to a poor or minority neighborhood, whose children grow up smelling the skunky chemical stench. None of this is necessary; marijuana should be grown outdoors, but then artificially pumping up THC potency would be harder and more expensive.
And this is only the actual plant flower. When the corporations further manipulate it to produce concentrates or edibles, even more poisonous chemicals, more power and energy, more runoff, are used to bring the THC levels up in wax, oil, shatter, or edibles.
In 2016, I filed a class-action lawsuit against one of Colorado’s largest marijuana corporations, caught using the notorious Eagle-20 Fungicide on their marijuana plants. Eagle-20 is designed only for outdoor ornamental plants, i.e. outside flowers that you only look at, not plants consumed by humans and definitely not for indoor enclosed environments. Eagle-20 contains myclobutanil, a chemical which, when heated, turns into hydrogen cyanide, a lethal gas. The effects of this awful gas are even more pronounced when it is concentrated and stuck into artificial plastic vape pens for heating, which are easier to carry and harder to detect, thus have become the preferred method of consumption for teens, along with glass “dab rigs” that resemble crack pipes.
The quality of this “marijuana on steroids” is artificial and unappealing, if one’s mind and taste buds are clear. The “high” is not really a positive happy high at all, but either a dead numbness or a scary psychotic paranoia, especially with edibles or concentrates. Frequent users develop tolerance, and eventually crave it. A permanent addict customer base, resulting in higher profits.
Drug prevention is a key element of the sustainable development agenda. Nevertheless, drug prevention is often overlooked and ignored, especially in countries that discuss plans to legalize cannabis or to decriminalize cannabis and other drugs.
But there are also inspiring examples of initiatives for community mobilization for drug prevention. Some members of Movendi International have run impressive community mobilization campaigns for the promotion of drug prevention.
This webinar is about hearing from them, discussing with them and learning from their experience.
The goal of this webinar is to inspire and empower to develop similar initiatives and to connect members with experts in the field of drug prevention.
As the topic is rising in importance, we want to build capacity and share best practices so that we can all engage proactively and effectively in the drug policy debate and to advance drug prevention.