Cannabis Killed My Son – Don’t Let It Do The Same To You

December 6, 2017
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Janie Hamilton, a mother from North Dorset in the U.K is touring schools around the country to warn children about the dangers of cannabis.

Janie’s 36-year-old son James, died of testicular cancer after a drug-induced psychosis led him to refuse chemotherapy and treatment for his disease.

Janie Hamilton, Image from the Daily Mail

James suffered from mental illness, believed to have been brought on by cannabis and his death was recorded as being partly caused by schizophrenia, a condition his family firmly believes was due to his cannabis addiction.

According to the Daily Mail, James became addicted to cannabis at aged 14, during which time his personality had changed dramatically. Six years later he was sectioned at age 20. During the years James had admitted to family members that he knew the dangers of cannabis addiction and that it caused mental illness in some, however, he claimed he couldn’t stop himself from smoking it.

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Janie Hamilton, a former prep school teacher from North Dorset said her son “was a brilliant writer and witty” and said he dreamed of becoming a journalist. James attended boarding school, where he and his family lived on site. However, his parents say that he had trouble fitting in and they believed he may have been bullied.

Mrs Hamilton believes her son fell in with a group of boys from outside the school and they supplied him with cannabis, which ultimately led to his mental illness and subsequent death. “We didn’t know at the time he was doing drugs. We were naive, as we had never tried drugs ourselves.  I am convinced James’s psychosis began when he started smoking cannabis. It was affecting his brain. He was stony-faced and strange,” the 65-year-old told the Daily Mail.

The family now realizes that James had smoked the drug most weekends and even mid-week during his teens. As a result, his education suffered and he missed out on University places. The Hamilton’s say James became increasingly paranoid and withdrawn and they believe he started to hear voices in his head.

After some concerning incidents, a doctor, social worker and psychiatrist came to assess him and they decided to section him. He was then diagnosed with schizophrenia and was in hospital for three months.

He spent the next 16 years in and out of hospitals after relapsing and had stopped taking his medication due to the side effects he was experiencing. However, in 2014 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer but refused treatment and refused to tell his family.

Image from the Daily Mail

By the time his family found out the cancer was in its late stages and all they could do was offer him care while he lived in a Hospice in Wiltshire. “In his last weeks, he became very ill with pneumonia. I asked what I could do for him and he simply said, “Cuddle”.  The doctor came a few days later and said, “I’m sorry, he’s dying”. I lived with him in the hospice for four weeks,” Mrs Hamilton said.

As reported in the Daily Mail, James’s death in 2015 was recorded as ‘malignant neoplasm of the testis and schizophrenia’, and doctors claim he would have agreed to potentially lifesaving treatment if he was of sound mind.

As a result, Mrs Hamilton, along with the Dorset police will begin assemblies around the country this month, to warn children of the life-threatening consequences of taking drugs. “It’s like Russian roulette and young people don’t realize they are risking death by experimenting,” Mrs Hamilton said.

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“Anyone who doesn’t believe cannabis can lead to mental health issues needs to come and watch the anguish and what it has done to families like ours.  A lot of youngsters think they’re indestructible. Cannabis is no safer than ecstasy,” she added.

The Hamilton’s hope that some good can come from their son’s suffering and hopes they can help by making others aware of just how dangerous the drug can be.


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