.Letters to the Editor: A Grieving Mom

In response to your story “North Bay Teens Talk About Cannabis During Quarantine” (March 10), the author Jonah Raskin says “None of the teens I interviewed showed a lack of core cognitive skills…” among other subjective measurements he witnessed.

I wish you had a chance to interview my dear son Trevor, who started smoking pot at age 14 while a Freshman at Redwood High School. This handsome, sweet young man, if sober, could have told you how he became violent when coming down from cannabis. He would have told you that no matter the treatment he received, he knew he was going to use cannabis, since he was unable to fight his brain activity that prioritized using his drug of choice (cannabis) to get high over everything else.

The day after he turned 18, he received his medical marijuana card in the mail, despite the Cannabis Use Disorder diagnosis that sent him away for much of his high school years. (Disproving your comment about cannabis not legally available to teens.)

Alas, you can’t interview him, because he is dead—poisoned by a fentanyl-laced street pill in his dorm room at age 18, looking for his next high. His addiction, like one-in-six youth, began with cannabis.

Mr. Raskin, your entire article is full of misinformation. This is unfortunate, since the cannabis industry perpetuates untruths and has much deeper pockets to spread this misinformation, and newspapers like this are eager to run stories like yours in order to support their advertisers.

I am disgusted and appalled at this “journalism,” and remain devastated at the loss of my beautiful boy, whose life could have been saved had it not been for the normalization and proliferation of youth and adult use of cannabis throughout Marin County, in part by articles like this.

– a grieving mom

Michelle Leopold, Greenbrae

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