The Phone Call No Parent Ever Wants to Get

Why We Oppose the Commercialization of Recreational Marijuana


By Dwight and Andrea Kadar

It started innocently enough in December of 2017 with a call from our adult son who lives in Littleton, Colorado, just south of Denver. We had been vacationing in California with friends and were getting ready to return to Arizona.

As we talked with Steve, we realized something was very, very wrong. For a gainfully employed young man with a blossoming career in financial technology, he was making absolutely no sense. He was jabbering on about crypto currencies, a market meltdown, and that there were people who were “after him” because of what he knew. The more we talked, the more frightened Andrea and I became.
So instead of flying back to Phoenix, I flew directly to Denver. Arriving at 2:30 am, Steve picked me up at the airport. His Jeep was filled with most of his personal belongings including his cat, Sid, in a carrier. We drove around the Denver area for almost two hours talking and he continued making no sense.

I finally convinced him to return to his apartment around 4:30 am. He went to sleep in his bedroom, and I crashed on his couch in the living room. Around 7:30 am he woke me, announcing his was going to work. I immediately fell back asleep until at 11:00 am. I was wakened by the ringing of my cellphone. The voice on the other end of the phone was an Emergency Room nurse from the Sky Ridge Medical Center. “Is this Mr. Kadar?” Yes, I answered. “Your son has been brought into our ER.” As we later discovered, Steve had had a psychotic breakdown at work, and it had taken seven EMTs to subdue him.

I got dressed and made my way the Sky Ridge Medical Center. When I got to the hospital, Steve was strapped onto a gurney, in four-point restrains, struggling to get free, with this wild look in his eyes, and talking gibberish. We later found out that he had “vaped” high potency marijuana concentrate or “wax.”

Andrea arrived in Denver the next day and we spent the next three days in the hospital at Steve’s side. And while he seems “much better” to us, the ER doctors would not release him to our care. Instead, they committed him to a Denver area psychiatric hospital for what seemed to be an eternity, but in reality, was two weeks. During his “lock down,” we were “allowed” to visit him only on Sundays and Thursdays for 60 minutes.

Andrea and I spent Christmas Day in Denver wondering whether we would ever see our son again. The most disturbing thing we saw in the “psych ward” was young adults in their 20’s whose brains had been “fried” on drugs and who would never been able to return to any sort of “normal” life.

We were extremely fortunate to get Steve released to our care. We returned to Arizona with Steve and Sid, and they lived with us for the next three months. We were able to secure great medical care and the doctor identified that Steve exhibited bi-polar symptoms. After three months with us in Arizona and another 60 days on leave from his job in Denver, Steve was able to return to work full-time. He has not had a relapse in almost three years. Needless to say, we “dodged a bullet” and Andrea and I realize how close we came to losing our son to marijuana.

Marijuana is no longer just a harmless plant to get high on. Today’s marijuana has been bio-engineered into a hardcore drug, the “crack of weed.” And that is why we are so opposed to the commercialization of marijuana for recreational use.