It's been nearly 11 years since Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Is that a good thing? That depends on whom you ask. CBN News traveled to the Centennial State to talk with people on both sides of this controversial issue.
A Deep Struggle
"Johnny was a wonderful young man; he was very smart, had a perfect SAT score in math—800 out of 800; had a 4.0 GPA all through school. He loved Jesus; we are a Christian family."
Behind the accolades, however, a deep struggle came to light.
"Unfortunately, we live in Colorado where marijuana was legalized here in 2012 when Johnny was 12 years old. And in 2014, it came out into the dispensaries, and he was 14 years old and in ninth grade," shared Laura Stack with CBN News.
She said that's when her son, Johnny, went to his first high school party and took a hit of marijuana for the first time.
"And I said, 'Johnny, I'm really kind of surprised at that. Thank you for telling me, but don't ever do that again.' I said, 'Marijuana will ruin that beautiful brain of yours,'" she recalled.
Stack said she didn't dwell on his decision.
"In my head I said, 'You know, it's just weed. I used it when I was a girl. I'm fine; it's no big deal.' And I was so wrong," she explained. "That was the beginning of five years of addiction with our son, and sadly, he took his own life when he was 19 years old—five years later, after he became psychotic, very delusional and paranoid and suspicious from using the marijuana."
Three days before he died, Stack says her son issued a warning.
"He said, 'Mom, I just want you to know you were right.' And I said, 'About what?' And he said, 'About the marijuana.' He said, 'You told me that it would hurt my brain, and it's ruined my mind and my life, and I'm sorry, and I love you.' And three days later he was gone," she shared, becoming emotional.
Now Stack and her husband, John, travel around the country, sharing Johnny's story and his warning about marijuana. They started the non-profit, "Johnny's Ambassadors", with the goal of preventing young people from using the substance, by enlisting "ambassadors" to get the word out in their communities.
"We try to talk to parents and teens about what happened to our son and the dangers of these new products that are on the market – that they're not the same; it's not just weed. They're very high potency," she said.
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Reprinted with permission from cbn.com. Copyright © 2023 The Christian Broadcasting Network Inc. All rights reserved.
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