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Teenager's marijuana arrest leads to suicide

It began with the arrest of a teenage boy for possession of marijuana, and ended with him committing suicide at school.

To protect the privacy of the family, names and locations will not be mentioned, what follows though is a tragic story about how a teenager’s life spiraled out of control.

He was an athlete, and participated in school sports year-round, he had a girlfriend, was well liked, had good grades, and never exhibited any symptoms of being a trouble maker. This all changed when he and a friend were arrested for possessing a small amount of marijuana.

As a society, rather than accept that teenagers will make poor decisions from time to time, we instead opt for harsh punishment and judgement to be inflicted on the life of someone who is at an age where they already have quite a few natural emotions going on and are dealing with quite a bit already.

In this particular case, legal trouble aside, when word got back to his high school of what happened, they began the dismantlement of his world; he was suspended from all extra-curricular activities. In the eyes of school officials, they very well thought that they would help this boy get his life back on track by withholding everything from him until he straightened up. Instead the complete opposite happened.

It was during this time that he and his girlfriend began having problems, which caused him to lose even more stability in his life. They worked at it though, with some success.

Back at school, which has a random drug testing program, this kid was randomly selected to submit a urine test. Some would find it remarkable that he would be randomly selected so soon after being arrested for possession of marijuana. He tested positive for marijuana, and was then fully shunned by an athletic department which had up until recently been a large part of his life.

Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018
Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018

When he asked for a second chance, his coach simply told him “we don’t take drugs on this team.” No second chance was given, despite a prior unrelated incident where other students were caught with alcohol in their vehicles, in which those students were not suspended, and were given a second chance.

After failing a drug test, it is mandatory that the student take another drug test after an undisclosed time. He tested positive again. When called for a third drug test, he simply left school that day rather than take another.

All he felt that he had left at this point was his girlfriend, and they were in the process of making amends. She invited him to her house one evening so they could reconcile. Her parents met him at the door however, and told him he was no longer welcome in their home.

He was found dead in his vehicle in the school’s parking lot by a teacher not long after.

Had he been released into his parents custody rather than arrested, had he been given a support program by the school rather than suspended, the story’s ending very well could have turned out differently.

By: Stephen Carter

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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