Saturday, November 10, 2012

Woman's Son Brought Marijuana To School

Discerning deception by principle takes time to learn principle, and then a great deal of time in practicing the application. 

As this settles in, there is an intuitive grasp of deception that sometimes arises in the reader. 

This following news story has a number of deceptive elements in it.  From the Bangor Daily News, the comments that follow show how easily the public is deceived.  The comments are overwhelmingly in support of this woman.  

How many 'issues' can you find?  Leave your responses in the comments section.  An 'issue' for the purposes of this article can be:

1.  missing information
2.  Sensitivity indicator
3.  Inconsistency 

If you read the quotes, and need assistance, see 'former downeast girl' comment left.  She pointed out several of the issues. 

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Sullivan woman whose son was placed in foster care after he took her marijuana-laced brownies to his school and shared them with friends was told in court Friday evening that her son would remain in protective custody for the time being.
Aside from the custody issue, Amanda Hiser, 32, is facing criminal charges in connection with the incident and still has to contend with her lupus, which she says is why she had the pot brownies to begin with. Hiser is not an authorized medical marijuana user in Maine, but a pro-medical marijuana group that has learned of her situation is offering to help arrange and pay for a visit with a doctor who can approve her as a medical marijuana patient.
Hiser, a single mother, had hoped would allow her 13 year-old son, who just started eighth grade at Mountain View School in Sullivan, to return home.
That’s the main, important thing,” Hiser said Thursday evening. “I would like him home as soon as possible.”
But an Ellsworth District Court Judge ruled on Friday evening, after the usual court closing time, that there would still be an “immediate risk” to returning the boy to his mother’s care, said Hiser’s attorney, Ferdinand Slater.
Friday’s preliminary hearing was private and, citing confidentiality rules, Slater would not divulge details of why the court ruled as it did.
We’ll be working with the [Department of Health and Human Services] to alleviate their concerns between now and the jeopardy hearing,” Slater said. At that hearing, a judge will decide whether the child will remain in the department’s care. It must be held within 120 days, but has yet to be scheduled, Slater said.
Slater said Hiser has seen her son, and that he is working with DHHS to schedule regular visitation. Hiser could not be reached for comment Friday.
Hiser was arrested Oct. 30 on a charge of aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs because of the incident earlier that day in which, she says, her son accidentally took the brownies to school as a snack. Her son was placed in foster care the same day by DHHS and has been in foster care since.
Her son and several other students also were suspended from school for the incident.
In addition to the trafficking charge, Hiser has been charged with possession of a hypodermic device — a charge she and police have declined to elaborate on.
Hiser claims that because of her lupus, she suffers from kidney failure, experiences nausea, has joint pain and rheumatoid arthritis, and has to receive regular blood transfusions. She cannot take pharmaceutical painkillers because of her kidney issues and the marijuana helps with her pain and nausea, she has said.
She has said she has had difficulty coming up with the money she needs for an appointment with a doctor who can authorize medical marijuana use. She and her son had been living off $350 a month they received in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funding but, she said, the money has stopped coming since her son was placed in foster care. She says she has no other income. She says she has applied to Social Security for disability benefits but has yet to be approved.
Patrick Sullivan, a spokesman for pro-medical marijuana group Compassionate Caregivers of Maine, indicated Thursday in an email that the group is helping Hiser get an appointment with a doctor authorized to approve patients for medical marijuana use.
“CCM is also paying for the visit via a patient fund that we have set up in order to try to help low-income patients to afford consultations which can cost anywhere from $150-300 for the initial visit and another $100-200 for follow-up visits which happen at least annually, sometimes more frequently,” Sullivan wrote in the email.
Sullivan added that getting approved for medical marijuana often poses significant financial hurdles for patients who have few, if any, other options.
A patient that is on state assistance for example, may live on less than $1,000 in monthly income and simply cannot afford $300 in order to see a physician that will look objectively at medical marijuana as part of a treatment plan,” Sullivan wrote. “Even with the sliding scale that some physicians offer, there remains an underserved segment of the patient pool that simply cannot get the help they need.”
Hiser’s son still faces disciplinary action by the school. RSU 24 has scheduled a student expulsion hearing as part of its next regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Ellsworth High School.
In keeping with the RSU’s policy of not disclosing information about individual students, RSU officials have not indicated which student is the subject of the hearing. But Hiser said Thursday that the hearing is for her son and that he could get expelled.
RSU 24 Superintendent Suzanne Lukas has said several students were suspended for varying lengths of time in connection with the Oct. 30 incident. She has declined to say how many students are involved or to say how long the suspensions are for.


John Mc Gowan said...


I find myself picking out,

1. missing information
2. Sensitivity indicator
3. Inconsistency

However when it comes to summing up my analysis i find it can be difficult at times to express them on paper.

Is this often the case with beginners of SA?

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a pre-meditated selling ploy to me. Why was the pot baked into brownies if it was for her own use? Surely a person with chronic pain, who is so ill, can find easy methods of getting that "hit".


Anonymous said...

Medical marijuana, when eaten instead of being smoked, has longer lasting effects and offers less of a " high" and more pain control. It's also more acceptable to some patients to "take" orally like their other drugs from traditional doctors.
My Two Cents,

Apple said...

And the hypodermic needle was just used to infuse the brownies...

Unknown said...

As a newspaper reporter an editor - I am appalled at the way this story was written. Soft, passive language is not how a good hard news story should be written at all. And the whole "she has said" thing does not inspire my confidence in this reporter's interviewing abilities. When did she say that? Who did she say that to? In regard to the story on general, how does this woman afford to buy marijuana and support a child on $350 a month?

Unknown said...

I really shouldn't type on an iPhone. My thumbs are huge. Sigh... Forgive the booboos plz

Skeptical said...

I had to smile a little bit at this one. 30 years on Jeff Spicoli lives on. How did they get caught? Did they order a pizza delivered to class?

Anonymous said...

a better question:

instead of how does she support a kid on 350 per month would have been...

how many kids has she produced?
how many have been taken away?
how else does she make money?
why won't she get a job?
why isn't she allowed pain killers?
why doesnt welfare pay for medical marijuana?
whyriter, you are on the right track

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Jeff Spicoli!

"Mister Haanndddd!"


The reporter did a very poor job on this article. Everything from spelling (yes, spelling) to asking basic questions.

Anonymous, those are questions that should have been asked along with a whole bunch more.


Light the Way said...

First of all, there's no reason that someone with kidney dysfunction to claim they categorically "can't take" painkillers. Even dialyisis patients can take *many* of those drugs, the dosages just have to be adjusted.
I wouldn't even take her "Lupus" diagnosis claim at face value without some kind of supporting documentation or evidence that it's true.

Lots of people use claims of serious illness to gain sympathy, leniency, or to scam others.
How many cancer-fakers have we seen in the news?

Seems like she's successfully scamming the Medicinal Marijuana advocates into footing the bill for the doctor exam need to get a legal prescription... at the very least!
Note they are ALSO helping her with that expense indicating it's "in addition to" an unnamed something "else". (Legal fees, maybe?)

Can they not reason thru the argument that if she can afford to buy enough weed to bake brownies with (it takes quite a bit, by the way!) Then she should be able to cough-up the money to see a medical marijuana prescriber and buy a license?? :/

Second of all, I'm sensing that the missing pieces to this story about the State taking her kid involve OTHER DHHS concerns in ADDITION to this, the most recent incident, where her pot-laced brownies "accidentally" ended up at school with her little delinquent.

I'm not buying any claim that her son made an "innocent mistake".
He knew what was in them.

Had he brought in one or two to school, with his lunch, then MAYBE it could've been a "mix-up":
He brought in enough brownies to get himself AND his buddies high!

An educated guess: this incident is just one on a LONG list of disciplinary marks on his school record, if he's at risk of being expelled...

Bunch'a low-life scammers!

Anonymous said...

Please help find Ayla

Anonymous said...

I have no idea how a hypodermic needle would be used with marijuana, smoked or orally ingested.
I have no interest on this case as far as her son taking the brownies to school. I was simply speaking of medical marijuana.
As stated below, this article only gives one direct quote from the mother and is unclear in it's presentation of facts.
In addition, I feel that if any person has children or pets in the home they should lock up ALL drugs, including traditional pharmaceuticals.

Anonymous said...

As someone who knows lupus all to well - I had to step back and let this sink in. My first reaction was to defend the woman.

After taking some time and rereading the article there are some warning flags in the article that come into play.

First off:

"In addition to the trafficking charge, Hiser has been charged with possession of a hypodermic device — a charge she and police have declined to elaborate on."

---- Maybe she had the hypodermic "device" from one of her legal treatments left over.

I seriously doubt it. She would find the old prescription for the hypodermic "device" in a hurry had there been a legitimate reason for her to have it in her possession.

The statements about her arrest coupled with the statements about the woman's sons possible expulsion and his friends suspensions make me think the son sold or traded the pot brownies. With or with out the mother's knowledge.
(The way the Police, DHS, and the school are reacting - would lead me to believe that she knew.)

That might be why he's facing expulsion. That might be why the other students are facing suspensions.

If a child of mine ate a brownie baked with weed unknowingly - I'd be furious at the "supplying" parent. I would demand my child NOT be suspended for something they didn't know was wrong.

If my child KNOWINGLY ate a "pot brownie" - my child would be in trouble and I would encourage the repercussions. Learning from this experience would be crucial.

I'm wondering what the other parents have to say about this.

Maybe this is the case of a true lupus sufferer who needed medical marijuana and her son got the wrong brownies.

I don't think this is the case but there is NOT enough information to make that determination.

I can say that lupus is a truly horrific disease. To control pain, which can last very long periods of time, heavy duty narcotics are prescribed.

These narcotics are nasty, nasty, nasty!!!

Medical marijuana can be a God send to someone with Cancer, Lupus, AIDS. It helps ease the pain, helps your body relax, and helps your appetite.

So, if this woman, is truly a victim, like the article suggests - I feel for her. However my take is that, no, this is not the case.

If anything, it makes me sad for those who do use it for medicinal reasons. Those who really do lead these hard lives.

She's using their story to "CYA".

Anonymous said...

ummmm..... this is a tough one. Let's talk about the money, the root of all evil, or the love (or need) thereof. Follow the money trail!

It takes more than a little nickel baggie of pot to make pot brownies. It also requires flour, milk, sugar, chocolate, cooking oil, pam spray, etc., etc., NOT cheap. Where did she get the money to purchase the ingredients? $350 a mo will not even cover their basic food staples, toilet paper, laundry, toiletries and cleaning products. There would be no money left for emergencies, NOR pot.

She wouldn't even be able to provide them with a one-room efficiency. Is someone else providing them a roof over their heads, free utilities, food, room & board? Her son would be entitled to free school lunches (which includes breakfast & snacks) so that takes care of that. He would have no need (nor could he afford) to take a batch of brownies to school to share with others, with or without pot.

SOOO, this leads me to suspect that mommie made a little sacrificial investment in baking pot laced brownies and sent them off with son to sell at school and he knew what was in them. Pure and simple, she needed money. What ELSE has she been selling?

Did she borrow the money from a friend to bake the brownies, or does she have a partner, hoping to grow this business? There's more. LE and the DHHS would not be refusing to disclose what other issues are in their files if there wasn't more involved.

I DO understand her need for medical treatment that she is unable to obtain, as I have far more income than she does; I do have cancer in more than one area,(and other majorly associated issues); and I will say that sometimes it is VERY difficult to come up with medical copays and medications that are not covered, and frequently I can't. This means that you get NO CARE until you can pay your back charges and still be able to move forward with your treatment.

However, my own case is not so far advanced (and no lupus), that I live in constant pain from which there is no relief, just major discomfort for which, so far, I am able to take pain medications for some relief. Also, I do not plan to have chemo or radiation, no costly conventional medical treatments. They kill people if the cancer doesn't. Only a 2% cure for a certain period of time.

I plan alternative treatments, (some which have a much higher success raate) also expensive; some minor treatment already started, for which there is NO coverage or approval by FDA or any insurance coverage; although I do plan to have it monitored by my physicians at even more cost.

I just have to figure out how I am going to pay for all of this. Do I plan to sell pot laced brownies? NO. When God determies it is over, then I guess I'll just die when the time comes, like the many millions and billions before me. In the interium, would I smoke a little pot to relieve the pain? I might. I'd have to talk to God about that first. I know, many people probably wouldn't, but I would, money or 'do-it-or-die' not being my objective.

This woman may or may not be as sick as she claims to be. That remains to be proved one way or the other. Do I think she and her kid knew what they were doing and did it deliberately? Absolutely. However, I find the kid innocent due to his circumstances; it's all on her back. I just hope he gets some help and she has to pay for what she has done to him.

elleemmcee said...

Why is possession of a hypodermic device such an apparent no-no? Excuse my liberal European sensibilities.....

Picked up on the medical marijuana group ALSO funding the Dr's visit, as well as what.

And the social services don't appear to be in a big hurry to return the son, their failing to set a court date for his return signals intent to hold him 120days minimum.

Anonymous said...

I am thinking along the lines of Anon 9:15. The school's disciplinary actions indicate they think the boy knew what he was "sharing" at school. I also think that if this woman is as sick as she claims she is not in condition to care for her son unless she has other people supporting and helping. I don't advocate taking kids away from sick parents - illness is not a crime. But with the drugs and paraphernalia I think it is valid for the state to have concerns. For the boy to go home, there needs to be other people checking in on them both.

Light the Way said...

I'm having trouble moving forward with the assumption that she's even telling the truth about the LUPUS and the associated disabilities/pain she claims it causes HER.

There's sensitivity indicators surrounding that part of her story, including a further need to "explain" that the condition is responsible for both her way of life (joblessness/poverty) AND her inability to "take" conventional painkillers.

I just find her overall story hinky, and therefore am questioning ALL of it.

She would have the world believe she is responsible for NOTHING that has transpired, and neither is her son. Not even her purchase and use of illegal drugs, or her son bringing those illegal drugs to school.

Her ENTIRE story hinges on the Lupus:

Would ANY of these supporters be rallying to her side, advocating she get her son back, and offering to finance her way to gain access to "legal cannibis" if they didn't take it for granted that her condition is real AND as severe as she claims??
I think not.

Mainah said...

I thought I might have a hard time with this one. I smoke marijuana and know a lot of mature adults who do so responsibly. I've known a few who did not, as, well, but I thought I would be very tempted to allow that prejudice in, but I'm glad to report, I was easily able to apply the techniques and follow the directions: 1,2,3