Student Questioned About Dad's Use of Pot

Student Questioned About Dad's Use of Pot
Posted by CN Staff on March 09, 2007 at 07:39:33 PT
By Mark Brunswick, Star Tribune
Source: Star-Tribune 
Minnesota -- Shannon Pakonen told a House committee Thursday that his 15-year-old son, Sam, was interrogated this week by a teacher at Brooklyn Junior High School in Brooklyn Park about his father's use of marijuana for medical purposes. The incident, Pakonen said, demonstrates the need for legislation to authorize medical use of the drug.Lisa Hunter Jensen, the Osseo School District's director of school/community relations, said the district had only sketchy information about the incident from the school's principal but said the district is investigating the matter further.
Telephone calls and e-mails to the school's principal and assistant principal as well as the Osseo School District's superintendent and school board members were not returned Thursday.Sam Pakonen was pulled out of math class and told to report to his speech teacher, his father said. While there, the teacher asked him about his father. Were there marijuana plants in his house? Did he ever see his father smoke pot? No, he replied.That was on Tuesday. Two days earlier, Sam's father, Shannon, had been quoted in a Star Tribune story about a bill in the Legislature to allow the use of medical marijuana in the state. He was quoted saying he occasionally used marijuana to reduce tics and spasms caused by Tourette's syndrome, a neurological disorder. Shannon Pakonen had also testified in support of the bill last month in a Senate committee hearing.On Thursday, Shannon Pakonen relayed Sam's story to members of the House Health and Human Services Committee, which took testimony on the medical marijuana bill and could vote on the measure as early as today."My son should not have to be treated like a criminal on the basis that he is my son," Pakonen told the committee.Sam Pakonen was in the audience. After the hearing he retold the story. He said he was told to report to the speech teacher because his physical education teacher reported having difficulty understanding him. He was born prematurely and has several developmental disabilities. While he said he sometimes has difficulty with his speech, the physical education teacher had never made that claim in seven months of having him in his class.The speech teacher asked the questions about the marijuana. Measure Stirs Controversy Shannon Pakonen, who said he obtains the marijuana from friends and does not smoke it in front of his son, said the actions at the school help illustrate the problems associated with the medical use of marijuana today. A proposal that would have Minnesota join eight other states in approving such use has bipartisan support in the House and Senate but Gov. Tim Pawlenty opposes the measure, fearing that it sends the wrong message about the dangers of the drug.Other opponents, such as the Minnesota Family Council and the Minnesota County Attorneys Association, have testified that marijuana could end up in the wrong hands.Pakonen said he called an assistant principal at the school to complain on Wednesday and was told the physical education teacher was curious because she suffered from chronic pain. He was told that Sam had brought up the issue of medical marijuana. The boy said that never happened."I think they were trying to make the case to take my son away from me," Shannon Pakonen said after the hearing. "They want to victimize someone. I was going to be punished for exercising my right to speak out."While unfamiliar with the specifics of the case, Barry Feld, a professor at the University of Minnesota law school specializing in juvenile justice, said police, teachers or other people in authority have a right to ask about allegations of impropriety, particularly if it involves potential child abuse or neglect."They would certainly be in a position to ask the kid about what goes on in the house," Feld said.But Feld said there are statutes protecting family communications from being used against someone."It's to encourage kids to talk to their parents about problems," he said.One of the measure's supporters is Rep. Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon, a former House speaker who once opposed the use of medical marijuana but has since signed on as a co-author. "This is an example of why we need to pass this kind of bill," Sviggum said after being told about the school incident.Note: The controversy surrounding a bill to allow the use of medical marijuana hits home for a junior-high student in Brooklyn Park.SF345: Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author: Mark Brunswick, Star TribunePublished: March 8, 2007 Copyright: 2007 Star Tribune Contact: opinion Website: Related Articles:Medical Marijuana May Soon Be Reality MJ Legal for Medical Use Gains Support Aim To Pass Medical Marijuana Bill
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Comment #8 posted by museman on March 09, 2007 at 10:02:03 PT
Nobody should have that kind of power. Who the hell gave it to them anyway? Follow the money.
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on March 09, 2007 at 09:26:34 PT
evil govt men
Let's not forget how the whole l'affaire Steve Kubby started - he had the gall to run for governor of California as a Libertarian. Thus the friendly LEO folk camped out on the hill behind his house with telescopes and the ensuing flight to Canada.No, California needed an ex-actor/athlete who smokes herb and tobacco but vetoes the industrial hemp bill. He's wasn't born in America, but he sure knows how to act like an American now. We really need a new slogan for America. "Support the Troops" is so generic sounding. We need something along the lines of "Sig Heil!"  Maybe "Hail Cheney!" with a quick snap of heels and raised fist? 
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Comment #6 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on March 09, 2007 at 08:50:12 PT
They also questioned Loretta's child at school
...about her Mom's activities, after her letter was published.
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Comment #5 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on March 09, 2007 at 08:44:13 PT
Loretta Nall Heads Back to Court
Alexander City, AL, March 4, 2007  2006 Libertarian Gubernatorial candidate and widely known drug policy reformer, Loretta Nall, will appear in Tallapoosa County Circuit Court, located in downtown Alexander City, at 9 A.M. on March 15, 2007 to continue the appeals process in her misdemeanor marijuana possession case. On that day Mrs. Nall's attorney, Anthony Wilson, will argue a motion for dismissal.Loretta Nall, who had no prior arrest record and maintains her innocence, was arrested in a November 2002 raid on her home less than a week after her Letter to the Editor of the Birmingham News was published. The affidavit in support of the warrant to search Nall's home used that letter as probable cause. The Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force, which conducted the raid on Nall's home, alleges that the raid yielded 0.87 gram of marijuana....
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Comment #4 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on March 09, 2007 at 08:30:32 PT
When people speak out against capital punishment,
is that reason enough to ask their children if their parents have ever killed anyone?Do the police use opposition to the death penalty as probable cause to swoop in and start digging up backyards looking for bodies?Shall everyone who speaks out against the unlawful detention of suspected terrorists be arrested for suspected terrorism?Does freedom of speech mean the government is free to arrest you for what you say?Whose logic has been more altered by cannabis, those who use it, or those against its use?
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on March 09, 2007 at 08:17:38 PT
NM: what's the message?
This is one of the most disturbing articles I've seen in years. As usual, it's because it opens a rare window of truth into our current culture and government.They voted down medical MJ in NM again, worrying about sending the right message to kids. With full information at hand, they voted to increase the suffering of thousands of sick people, just to continue sending the "right" message. To kids.So, what is that message? Daddy can drink himself to death with liquor, smoke himself to death with cigarettes, or feed the kiddies junk food until they're 250 pounds and diabetic. All that is OK with the government. They'll never ask, "have you seen Dad drinking Budweiser? how much does daddy weigh? Does daddy speed or drive unsafely? Have you seen Dad taking prescription pills?"No, the government won't attack you for these dangerous practicies, but they will for cannabis. The message is loud and clearThe government is more powerful and important that your family.
The government controls your life.
The most important thing to remember is to obey the government, AT ALL TIMES. The government is often wrong, but wrong or right DOESN'T MATTER. Do what the government says, or we'll attack and kidnap your family members. Even if the government is wrong, OBEY.That's why they voted down medical MJ in New Mexico.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on March 09, 2007 at 08:17:25 PT
I don't really have any experience with how things are in a government school. I went to a Catholic school and they didn't take any money from the government. I did go to a Secular school in 9th grade and didn't like it and went back to Parochial school.
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on March 09, 2007 at 07:54:44 PT
another one
yet another person who "woke up" to the fact that we live in a police state.Send your kids to government schools, they're under government control. I wonder if junior pledged "allegiance" every day?
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