Saturday, August 2, 2008

Read if you care...

Note: Read if you care -- this is my blog and I cannot get this off my mind; I dont know where else to post this...

I sat down earlier taking a break from my chores... flipping through the channels of disgusting or non-needed channels and commercials, I settled on watching a "Friends" re-run. A commercial came on, a "new" one that sent shivers down my spine. As children were playing happily on a jungle gym in a park, small statistics popped over their heads saying wether they were born to a cocaine mother, sold for drugs or born HIV positive at birth. Where I've had a wonderful, wonderful childhood I know several people who haven't. Just the other day I was setting up details for a 4-H member who has to have a special class in 4-H showmanship because she was born to a drug mother. Apparently it's a disability law... something I didn't even know.... I didn't know because I've never really informed myself on the issue. The commercial gave a website ( I think you should all visit, but I've quoted the important and STUNNING information from it... it's sad... and where people spend unknown amounts on presidential debates or spend that extra $20 on a pizza... there are several children in need of help because their parents are not making the right choices for them... they have no voice in this huge world. Relating to my title... There should be more unsettling commercials like the one I saw today... it might just get someone's attention.

Note: All of this information is directly quoted from

  • Habitual marijuana smoking suppresses the body's immune system response to
    bacterial and viral infection. (American College of Allergy, Asthma and
  • THC, the major psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, enables tumor
    growth by impairing the body's immunity against it. (Journal of
  • Regular marijuana smokers are more likely to contract bronchitis,
    emphysema and pneumonia. (Journal of General Internal Medicine)
  • People who smoke marijuana in their teens are three times more likely to develop
    schizophrenia. (Cardiff University study)
  • Even after quitting smoking marijuana for 28 days, users' brain functions (memory, perception, reasoning) were still impaired. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

More info :

  • In 1992 the Lewis group estimated that drug abuse costs society at least 97.7 billion dollars a year. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
  • At least 67 percent of parents with children in the child welfare system need treatment for substance abuse. (Child Welfare League of America)
  • 75% of children in foster care are placed there because of a parent's substance abuse. (National Survey of Drug Use and Health)
  • In Tennessee the numbers of children brought to foster care because of methamphetamine abuse rose from 400 in 2003 to 700 in 2004. (New York Times)
  • 40% of child welfare officials reported a yearly increase in foster care placements due to the methamphetamine epidemic. (National Association of Counties)

More info :

  • Drugs other than alcohol are involved in nearly 18% of motor vehicle driver fatalities. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • While teen drug use continues to decline, drug abusers today are likely to be baby boomers in their mid 30s to mid 50s. (Psychiatric Times)
  • 51% of drivers involved in trauma admissions to emergency rooms tested positive for illicit drugs. (Accident Analysis and Prevention)
  • 11 million Americans have driven under the influence of drugs. (2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health)
  • The higher the blood level of marijuana in the driver, the higher the risk of causing a fatal crash. (British Medical Journal)
  • The rate of current drug users aged 50 to 59 increased from 2.7% to 4.4% while the rate of current drug users aged 12 to 17 decreased from 8.2% to 6.8%. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
  • The number of joints per ounce of marijuana is 60 for standard strength pot, 120 for sinsemilla. (Economics of Cannabis Legalization)
  • Regular cannabis users were 9.5 times more likely to be involved in automobile accidents. (University of Auckland study published in Addiction)
  • In a 2005 study of trauma center admissions, one in four drivers tested positive for marijuana. (Accident Analysis and Prevention)

More info :

True Stories:

A 31 year old mother of seven has six children in foster care and one living with another family member because three children tested positive for cocaine at birth. Her children range in age from eight months to 12 years with seven different fathers. In December 2005, Judge Marilyn O'Connor stated that the children were removed from their mother's custody because "she could not and did not take care of them." (Associated Press story from Rochester, NY)

In January 2005, a Florida woman was sentenced to five years in jail for sending her 11 year old daughter out on the street in her nightgown to sell heroin. Police had been watching the girl for months, selling heroin to drivers and pedestrians, and had sent undercover officers who successfully bought drugs from her. The girl and her sister went into state custody. The mother, Alison Lolanda Davis, pleaded guilty to nine counts including child abuse; the girl was not charged. (Associated Press story from Miami, FL)

Rob Cabitto of Wisconsin spoke to a crowd of distinguished guests at the Sheriff's Prayer Breakfast in May 2006 about his childhood and the life choices he made as a result. Cabitto spoke of his earliest memory, "When I was four I remember being at the river with my dad when I felt this cold sensation and I thought it was the water, but it was my dad pouring gas on me trying to kill me because he had been awake for 17 days on meth." Cabitto continued, "When I was six years old, I weighed 27 pounds and my dad locked me in a closet for a couple weeks because I was crying." He discussed his struggle with drugs, "and while I never picked up a drug, drugs severely affected my life." He went on to talk about his father's imprisonment for murder, his mother's prostitution and his eventual drug addiction and drug dealing. Cabitto's turning point came when he asked God to "show up" during a drug deal and "twenty minutes later when the DEA busted through the door, it was God showing up." He served 8 "terrifying" months in prison and turned his life around. He has earned his MBA degree, has a son and volunteers at the Salvation Army Treatment Center in Minneapolis where he seeks to help others like himself. (Burnett County Sentinel)

A 45 year old mechanic driving under the influence of marijuana killed a mother and 2 of her children. Michael Smith was arrested by officials in March of 2006 on suspicion of driving under the influence of an intoxicant when he caused the crash that killed Gertrude Daniels and two of her daughters. A third child, Deja Daniels, survived the crash but was reported to be in critical condition. Palm Beach prosecutors said that this was the first DUI manslaughter case that they have had in which alcohol was not also involved. (WPBF News)

18-year-old Tyler Messmer of Indiana crashed his pickup into a tree while under the influence of marijuana in June 2005. He was charged in March 2006 with reckless homicide because his 16-year-old sister, Sarah Messmer, and two other teens - Tiffany Adkins, 17, and her 16-year-old sister, Brittany - were killed during the crash. Another passenger, Michael Friedel, 18, was injured in the crash. (North County Times)

A 40 year old Michigan woman, Delores Derror, admitted that she smoked a marijuana cigarette four hours before a January 2004 accident that killed Angela Grierson, 28, and seriously injured seven others, including four children - Eden Elkins, Brittany Elkins, Notasha Elkins and Tegan Elkins. (Traverse City Record-Eagle)

New Orleans charter bus driver, Frank Bedell, 46 was at fault in the wreck that killed 22 people on Mother's Day. Bedell was to be charged with 22 counts of vehicular homicide, but he died of a heart attack prior to being sentenced. Police found evidence that Bedell had smoked marijuana two to six hours before the wreck and was still impaired by the drug at the time of the crash. (The Times-Picayune)

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