A teen is now facing arson charges after his mother denied him marijuana money. 18-year-old John Carter asked his mother for money to buy marijuana, and when she refused to pony up the cash, the boy decided his mother needed a fashion makeover and torched the clothes in her closet. The teen set his mother’s clothes ablaze and was released on a $30,000 bond. His decision to do so has happened as the drug debate continues to heat up.
The alleged arson occurred around 11 a.m. Saturday morning, and Lt. Dean Hensley of the Harris County Fire Marshal’s office says that following his mother’s refusal to give him money to go towards buying marijuana, Carter allegedly started lighting his mother’s clothes on fire. According to KENS-TV, the fire department was notified of the blaze when it spread to the rest of the apartment. The majority of the blaze, however, was confined to the closet where his mother’s clothes were kept.
Carter was arrested shortly following the authorities’ arrival at the apartment, which is located in Harris County, TX. The arrest comes as the debate about the legalization of marijuana heats up. Certainly, Carter’s behavior is not just questionable; it’s downright illegal and begs the question about where the young man’s head was that he thought setting his mother’s clothes ablaze was a good idea.
Comments should not be made about this young man and the damage – or lack thereof – that marijuana has done to him. The fact that his mom denied him marijuana money has only caused the drug debate to heat up. The discussion should really be about the legalization of marijuana and what it could do to the teen populace at large. Certainly, society is not so naive as to believe that drugs are not being used by society; in fact, 6.5 percent of Grade 12 students have admitted to using the drug in 2012, and this number has increased by a fair margin since 2007.
Medical marijuana prescriptions appear to be the most common way in which these teens are accessing the drug regularly, and the prescription is either for them or for someone else. It is believed that in Washington State alone, there will be 175 metric tons of marijuana consumed this year alone. This equates to 50 half-gram joints for every man, woman and child in the state alone. While advocates for the legalization of marijuana say that the legalization of the drug will help decrease use among teens, it would seem that the significant amounts of marijuana that could be consumed this year alone would say differently.
While some have argued that the legalization of marijuana would be a good thing and be used for good medical reasons, the accessibility that teens seem to have of the drug would indicate that teens will access the drug if they are of a mind to do so. However, the health impact cannot be argued. For starters, smoking in general has been proven to be bad for your health, and there are several synthetic brands of marijuana, such as K2 and Spice, which have been found to have toxic effects on users. Chronic marijuana use can lead to anxiety, increased heart rate, and the potential for heart attacks, according to some studies.
However, what of the teen that was denied marijuana money by his mom and then set the clothes in her closet ablaze? The drug debate has certainly heated up, but it could rage on for days about whether he would benefit from the legalization of marijuana, but it is important to note that teens like John Carter who are looking for drug money may not benefit from legalization of the drug, as their behavior is already ramping up to criminal levels beyond simple drug possession. It can only be hoped that those teens who have reached that level of wanting the drug will not extend their criminal behavior further.
By Christina St-Jean