(Aish.com) As an emergency and addiction physician practicing on the front lines of the emergency department, I am seeing firsthand the devastating damage marijuana causes.
"It's just weed."
Those are the words that still haunt the parents of Johnny Stack.
Johnny was intelligent, funny, and charming with a 4.0 GPA and a college scholarship. Living in Colorado he was recruited into the marijuana scene at a young age, changing his personality and resulting in cannabis induced psychosis. His parent's thought it was "just weed," but quickly realized it was anything but. Johnny had hallucinations; he thought the mob was chasing him and he ran off a building to his death. He was 19.
Brian Smith loved weed. Then the vomiting began. The teenager and his mother couldn’t believe what the doctors said was causing his dreadful abdominal pain and vomiting: smoking weed. He developed cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (CHS), also known as scromiting (screaming and vomiting). Months later, it killed him. He was 17.
I am an emergency and addiction physician who practices on the front lines of the emergency department. I had the honor to serve as the first Chief Medical Officer at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Every shift I, along with my colleagues across the United States, treat patients with marijuana poisoning. CHS and Cannabis Induced Psychosis are the most common marijuana associated daily diagnosis in emergency departments across our country.