Say What? for April 25, 2013

April 24, 2013 

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    Want to get something off your chest? We’ll put it in print. Write to Weekly Surge at kkimes@weeklysurge.com with the subject line “Say What” or send to Weekly Surge, P.O. Box 406, Myrtle Beach, S.C., 29578.

Fake weed has real consequences

It is Friday morning and I just finished reading your article on synthetic marijuana (herein "Spice") in the Weekly Surge (April 18) I found in my son's room. I cannot contain myself from the outrage I am feeling at the moment. I am usually a huge fan of your paper and give merit to most of the articles and sources used in writing them.

But, I must say this article is so short of what is actually going on I can't even believe that it is in print. Yes, you used quite a few sources, politicians, law enforcement, head shop owners, and stoners, as you put it, but you missed the most important sources: the mothers and recovering users of this drug. I feel you have fallen very short in your information and the devastation that it has had on so many families. I feel like your article was nothing more than a tirade of crap leading to a reason to legalize marijuana.

For the record, I am all about the legalizing of marijuana, I feel it is much safer than alcohol and definitely any of this legal bullshit being sold in America's head shops. Unfortunately legalizing marijuana has absolutely no bearing on decreasing or eliminating the use of Spice in our teens. The majority of the people that are Spice users began doing it because it is cheap and cannot be detected in a drug test. Even legalizing marijuana won't change this.

Now, to the MAIN POINT of this e-mail: I am a mother of a Spice user and have seen, not just my son but many of his friends, or should I say co-users, lose all of their friends due to use. They lose everything, end up on the streets and devastate their families in the process! If you would have taken the time to contact many of the mothers that have been affected by this drug your article may have some merit.

Let me tell you what I have gone through for the past two years that my son has used Spice. My son graduated from Socastee High with a full academic scholarship to Coastal in 2011. He was a very clean cut kid with lots of friends and aspired to be a teacher and high school coach. That was then, now he has lost his scholarship, been incarcerated for breach of peace (on his own grandmother), has a suspended license, has stolen from family and others, sold anything and everything he gets his hands on and has been put out of his family home over and over. This is all a due to the use of spice. I realize we do not know exactly what the future effects on organs, brain, etc. may be, but to print anything that a young adult may grasp as a reason to continue using makes me sick to my stomach. I feel your article may just have done that and if you would have done further research through recovering users and their families you may have realized how important it is to deter any use of this drug. Not just promote the legalization of marijuana.

Not sure if you have ever seen someone on this drug but it is very disturbing. It is like watching someone on PCP. This may not be the case if used in moderation, but let’s be honest - how many teens use things in moderation? My son and co-users cannot form sentences, cannot remember what they said 2 minutes before, are unaware of where they are, stumble around, and motor skills are extremely delayed. I have been around marijuana users my whole life and there is no comparison of these two drugs. This is apples to oranges!

The Weekly Surge is read by many teens and I would think you would want to do anything to help our young adults. Your article did nothing but distribute the fact that there is nothing factual saying this drug is harmful. Whether this is the case or not, really, this is not what we need to put in our kids’ heads. Which I repeat, if you spoke with parents and recovering users you would have known. Maybe you are waiting for hundreds of deaths or users ending up with failing organs before you help in this fight, well, I’m not! I am forwarding this to every media outlet possible in hopes that we can all come together on this and fight to save our youth, that are America’s future.

- Kristen Sherman, Myrtle Beach

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