What Would You Do? (and why Marijuana use isn't a "victimless crime"


I wrote this last night, to document what was going on in our home. It’s kind of long so I’ll do it in two parts, the first post, which I wrote last night and the second, which is an update on how the situation unfolded and was written this morning:

I don’t think I’ve ever written a post while hysterically crying (so please forgive any typos). But I guess those years of competitive typing paid off because I can type this now without looking at the keys.

I put Sadie to bed before I wrote the last post and rode my exercise bike. I was working on her rosary when I heard her start gasping. By the time I went upstairs she was having what looked like an asthma attack. And the second I walked into her room I knew the cause. The room was filled with pot smoke. I ran downstairs and outside as Paul came in the house, but our neighbors lights were off.

With Sadie safely in our room (one half of the apartment is fine and the other is full of smoke) she started to breath a little bit better, but was coughing and coughing and coughing. And she had what looks like a rash up the middle of her torso and was burning hot to touch.

I suspect that the “illness” that began yesterday was really a reaction to the smoke that I’m guessing filled her room while we were sleeping last night.

Within a couple of minutes of taking Sadie from her bedroom her breathing eased a bit. After she’d been downstairs she was only a little raspy.

We called 911 to report the fact that someone was filling our child’s room with pot smoke. They said that if we weren’t going to have an ambulance respond it wouldn’t be considered an emergency (really, someone is endangering a child and that’s not an emergency). The nearest deputy is over an hour away and will come by if nothing else comes up.

So I made a decision and Sadie is now at the ER with Paul getting checked out (since we live a couple of blocks from the hospital the ambulance seemed like overkill). I want there to be a record of the exposure and her reaction and since that isn’t going to come in the form of a sheriff’s report we decided to take her to see a doctor.

And now I’m sitting here crying, waiting for a sheriff’s deputy to show up (they crying is mostly because Sadie is there without me and I know how scared she is of doctors and even typing this sends me over the edge into crying again).

Nani is on her way over to watch Maggie so I can go to the ER. And Maggie has an air filter pointed at her little face.

But yeah, I’m sure it’s a great idea to legalize marijuana. Just like it was a great idea to legalize medicinal marijuana (which is likely the cause of what’s going on here since you can buy a 215 card from a man with a stand next to the Laundromat in our county).


Part 2:

Yesterday is over and after a long night that included a visit to the ER, I’m mulling over our next step.

After Paul took Sadie to the ER I burst into tears. Sadie hates doctors (all the ear infections she had when she was tiny) and I knew that she would be hysterical and terrified. But taking Maggie to the ER wasn’t an option, so I stayed behind until Nani got home from her hour and a half drive back from The City (she was on her way home when all this started) and came to watch Maggie.

As I was walking out the door to go to the ER our phone rang and it was Deputy Oliver. I can honestly say that when he first began to speak I knew that the conversation wasn’t going to go in a productive direction. I told him exactly what had gone: our two year olds bed room had filled with pot smoke from our next door neighbor and she began to have asthmatic symptoms. She could hardly breath. She was now in the ER.

Deputy Oliver’s response: I can’t do anything, because your neighbor didn’t have malicious intent. He has to intend to hurt her for us to do anything.

I was blown away, but tried to inject some logic into the conversation. The ridiculousness of the situation was clear. I thought of the little girl who was all over the news a few months ago who was Sadie’s age and who was taken away from her mother who forced her to smoke pot. The entire nation was aghast. And here I have a daughter who can’t breath because our neighbor has filled her room with pot smoke (and let’s face it POT IS STILL AGAINST FEDERAL LAW even if we don’t have a federal government who’s interested in enforcing that law) and he’s telling me it’s not even worth his time to come out and try to help.

I gave him a hypothetical situation: Say two parents are using meth in front of their young children. They aren’t trying to harm their children. They’re just trying to get high. Are you telling me that you wouldn’t arrest them?

Of course he would, but he said that since he wasn’t in her room “blowing smoke on her” he wasn’t doing anything wrong.

I pointed out that using marijuana is still illegal in California, this month at least, and that we still don’t even know if the person in question has a 215 card. He asked if I’d like him to come over and check. I said yes, because although I can’t say with 100% certainty which apartment it is I think it would be pretty easy to figure it out (there are two apartments on the side of the house that stinks… and since one of those apartments is still empty and being renovated, therefore it must be the other…). It was apparently a rhetorical question though, since he had no intention of coming over.

After ten minutes of going round and round with a man who repeated his own completely illogical arguments, despite the fact that I gave him multiple examples of times when his argument wouldn’t be true, I said, “Fine. It’s clear that you’re not going to help us. I need to get to the ER to be with my sick child. I want you to know that I’m going to tell every single person that I can about this situation.” And I hung up the phone and walked out the door.

Sadie was hysterically screaming at the hospital. They’d taped a bag to her to collect urine to test, and she was waiting to have a chest x-ray because her chest sounded “raspy.” She clung to me and to her Curious George doll and we snuggled under her Tinker Bell fuzzy blanket. She had a fever of just below 102. So we think that she was also sick, but that the fumes triggered an asthma attack… which we are/were praying that the girls had missed having (Paul does).

The chest x-ray came back clear and they sent Sadie home with her little taped on bag, which we’re still waiting for her to fill (this kid so could be potty trained if she wasn’t so stubbornly set against it!).

Paul did call the sheriff (who was wonderful to take our panicked call in the middle of the night) and he said he’d look into it.

And this morning we’re watching Dora (which distracts Sadie from being sick) and pondering our next step.

Something needs to be done to protect our children from drugs. This is a major problem and if marijuana is “legalized” next month, it’s going to grow.

I’m going to do everything in my power to keep that from happening, because truly, this isn’t a “victimless crime.” I could see the face of one of the victims when I looked at my gasping child last night.


And for anyone who wants to know what the face of one of the victims of this “victimless crime” looks like, here she is:

Explore Cd W


This is terrible. How did the smoke get in her room?

I hope she feels better soon.


We live in what are supposedly the "nicest apartments in town" but they're very cheaply made (I guess the "nicest apartments" in a town with around 25% unemployment aren't all that nice...)... we aren't sure if there was shoddy work done on the vents or if it's actually coming through the poorly made walls. All we know is that one side of the apartment fills with the smell/fumes and the other doesn't. So right now the four of us are sleeping in our bedroom (it's a tiny apartment as it is!) with a air filter blowing on us. We'd open the windows, but the neighbors on the other side smoke pot in front of their front door. It's a very big problem in our area, because our county is a big producer of it... and it's harvest season...


The fact that it is marijuanna has nothing to do with your story so i fail to see why the huge upset about it being marijuanna, youre actually lucky it was marijuanna and not cigarette smoke, cigarette smoke contains cyanide which actively denies the human body oxygen. marijuanna contains no such chemical. so your daughter's asthma attack was actually BETTER than if the smoke had been legal cigarettes

either way im glad your daughter is ok


“He didn’t intend any harm” is fine until the person knows what happens when he or she smokes. Even if the person were a cigarette or cigar smoker, this would be an issue.

I have to assume you’re in a multi-unit rental. It would not be a bad idea to consult with an attorney. I expect he or she will have you formally inform anyone who could be the culprit behind the smoke-production and inform your landlord of the situation, letting them know you will take legal action if it happens again. Even if he were your landlord, you are entitled to the sole use of your unit. No one has the right to knowingly endanger a child, and no one has the right to expose a child to second-hand smoke.

If the culprit realizes that his or her “legal use” could land him in jail for child endangerment, he or she might either find a new venue for using or at least find a way to dissipate the smoke.

There is a chance, though, that the attorney will tell you that a) this is the landlord’s fault, not the smoker’s fault and/or b) that the rental law in your state puts the burden on you to find a different rental unit. I can’t say, but stranger things have happened in the world of law.


Except that our previous neighbors were smokers and it did fill our apartment with cigarette smoke and guess what? No asthma attacks. So it is specific to marijuana. Your argument doesn’t hold up. Sorry.


[quote="RedSoxWife, post:8, topic:216788"]
Except that our previous neighbors were smokers and it did fill our apartment with cigarette smoke and guess what? No asthma attacks. So it is specific to marijuana. Your argument doesn't hold up. Sorry.


Actually, you don't know that. A person can fail to have a violent reaction to cigarette smoke at one age and then suddenly develop a serious sensitivity later in life. It would be anything but an unusual case in the world of immunology.

I cannot imagine being in a rental that literally filled a bedroom with smoke whenever someone in another unit smoked. I've been in units where the smell got through, and that was bad enough. What would happen to your daughter if the brain surgeons in the next unit did something that generated carbon monoxide? You can't sue to get a life back.

Is it possible to move?


I’m with ya, I’d be doing everything I could and telling everyone I could about your experience. Have you considered calling the local media outlets?


I am so sorry your little girl had to suffer that way because of a high on. :frowning: I agree Marijuana use is not victimless except in the minds of those who like to pretend it is to make themselves feel better. (Cigarettes are more harmful…blah, blah,blah -cigarettes have not caused the damage to society that pot has -and it will get worse now that our society has made it so acceptable.) I will keep your situation in my prayers.


You might also check with the California Department of Consumer Affairs, with regards to what your rights are in this situation. As I remember, they offer free guidance and legal advice to renters with issues like this: dca.ca.gov/index.shtml and dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/index.shtml

It may be that your landlord has not maintained your unit in a legally habitable condition. Once you've read up on California law, you probably ought to call the department and talk to a real person.


I would move if I were you and fight for my deposit back.

If you can’t move, can you find out were the smoke is getting in and plug it up? Get the building super to come out and find were the leak is using a smoke gun.


can you talk to your neighbor? Or is he just a pothead?


just curious how the civil authority in your are would react if it were carbon monoxide, smoke from a house fire, or some other toxic substance filling your apartment from the next door neighbor

enlist the help of the local TV stations that gloms on to these stories the publicity at least might induce change and an inkling of common sense.

my feelings on this issue are no secret, those who wish to enrich the Mexican drug cartels and strengthen their grip on the Mexican government and people will continue to use, sell and promote pot


Is it possible that your HVAC system shares venting with another apartment?

I was a pot smoker back in my youth. I was allergic to pot, but it didn't affect my lungs. My eyes looked like I'd bathed them in blood. And Red Out didn't work.

Babies who suffer from asthma attacks (and most will at times or do) can be severly affected by multiple sources. As your baby was.

I have no doubt that your baby is allergic to marijuana.


Here's a stoner website; they're discussing asthma.


"im writing this message from the hospital bed as we speak,im 18 and ive been blazin for like 2 or 3 months straight, and i havent been taking my asthma preventative medicines, the whole time i was smoke bud i didnt see many negative effects that were out of the ordinary, you know every now and then i needed the inhaler, but didnt think twice, but out of no where i caught a cold and the asthma acted up and i was already in the worst asthma attack i had ever experienced and it all flared up within a matter of 3 hours and im re-cooperating now trying to bounce back, thc and cannaboids do serve as a bronchial dialator but the smoke and carbon monoxide has more negative effect then the thc and cannabinoids have positive...in a nutshell smoking marijuana may not make your asthma act up more frequent but if you do happen to have an attack the severity will be much more life threatning my doctor told me yesterday if i had came in 15 minutes later i would have died...at least get a vaporizer."

cheeziepoof writes:

Hello there,

I've had severe asthma my entire life, and I've been on preventative daily inhalers my entire life as well. I also have allergies etc.
Anyway, for me, as long as I've taken my daily meds and I can breathe normally in the first place, I don't have issues while I smoke.
I've had to use my inhaler before after a few hard hits, but I bounced back and was fine, and able to continue smoking.
For me at least, it really REALLY depends on what kind of piece you're using. I DEFINENTELY reccomend using a water pipe, or a bubbler if you can't get a water pipe; it makes the smoke soooooo much smoother and easier to take. Ya know how pipes and bowls are just a straight hit, and really hot? Get a water pipe, it doesn't decrease the effect of the herb, it makes it much smoother and the water cools it down. Much, MUCH easier on the asthmatic lungs. Enjoy. :

Guest Guest writes:

i've got asthma too and after smoking blunts and bowls i feel fine, but the next day i wheeze really bad and i'm like that for a few weeks after that. i was just wondering if using a bong would make smoking easier on the lungs and if so by how much?


Posts: 24 Trust me, "water pipes" make it SO much better. I never have much problem with my asthma at all when I use them. Due to the fact that the smoke goes through the water, it gets cooled down and is a LOT easier on the lungs. I definentely recommend it!


Moral of the story.

If you’re a stoner and asthmatic, buy a bong; have your rescue inhaler handy; take daily asthma meds; and if you get too loaded and forget on a consistent basis, have an Emergency Room handy.


Great that they can continue to smoke pot AND have asthma…The guy in the hospital probably doesn’t have any money to pay his own hospital bill so the taxpayers foot the bill…My goodness.

I agree with the posters who say get ahold of the local media. This could be a rather big story if they play it right.

And, if there is any way possible, start making plans to get out of there.


It sounds like once you get this neighbor checked out for using an illegal substance, you need to talk to you building manager ASAP. There is no reason that smoke should be seeping into your apartment.

However, I do think your blame of marijuana is misplaced. This could just as easily have been cigarette smoke. I won't comment on your outrage that marijuana may soon be legal, but the real problem here (and where my anger would be placed) is the sloppy building manager that doesn't stop smoke from seeping into other people's domiciles. There really is no excuse for that. I know if any kind of smoke (like cigarette smoke) came seeping into my house, the landlord would get more than an earful.

I hope your little girl is okay, and I pray that God will watch over her.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.