Who Is Paying 2013 Recall Spox To Tell Tall Marijuana Tales?

GOP spokesperson Jennifer Kerns.

GOP spokesperson Jennifer Kerns.

Longtime readers will remember the name Jennifer Kerns, the California-based public relations flack hired by the recall campaigns against two Colorado state senators in 2013. Although the recall elections were successful, Kerns herself failed rather spectacularly in her role as spokesperson after claiming that mail-in ballots "from Chicago" were fraudulently being turned in for the recall elections. Surprised inquiring journalists were, safe to say, not impressed with Kerns' basically nonexistent justification for this–as if we need to tell you–thoroughly bogus assertion.

Since then, we haven't heard too much from Jennifer Kerns. In October of 2013, Kerns announced a recall campaign against legislators in California over that state's gun safety laws, though the effort appears to have fizzled since then. But it looks like Ms. Kerns has a new gig–spreading some pretty outlandish stories about the effects of marijuana legalization in Colorado. This morning, Kerns published a guest column on the right-wing news site The Blaze titled Colorado’s ‘Pot Pregnancies’ Birthing New Generation of Crack Babies, which is provoking fierce discussion today:

Colorado health professionals are coming forward to report an emerging trend: expectant mothers who are addicted to pot.

The emerging health crisis is creating what is undoubtedly our generation’s version of 1980s “crack babies.”

Health practitioners specializing in the field of Obstetrics & Gynecology spoke to me on condition of anonymity to report an alarming rise in pregnant patients showing up in emergency rooms and doctors’ offices and presenting mysterious complications including abdominal pains, cold sweats, shakiness, insomnia, weight loss and a host of psychological problems…

In order to treat symptoms as well as help alleviate the pain of the withdrawal process, the physicians in Colorado report they have had to reintroduce doses of THC to expectant mothers, which of course leaves their babies susceptible to addiction and the complications above which often must be treated in neonatal units.

The emerging situation is not unlike babies who are addicted to crack. [Pols emphasis]

Now folks, we don't want to be accused of trying to cover up any legitimate problem that may be created/worsened by the legalization of marijuana. Beyond the revenue it generates for our badly cash-strapped state government, we have no stake in the issue one way or the other. We would of course be concerned if there were evidence that marijuana legalization had created a real public safety problem in the state, but there is no evidence we have seen anywhere to suggest that it has. Recent public polling shows that Colorado voters do not regret the decision to legalize marijuana in 2012, even though not as many Coloradans have made the personal choice to partake in newly-legal marijuana as some pre-legalization predictions. As a result tax revenues from legal weed, although a welcome boost for the state's bottom line, have not kept pace with expectations.

So, those are the facts we know about marijuana in Colorado. What we have not seen anywhere, and we're pretty sure that there are better qualified local sources than Jennifer Kerns, is any evidence whatsoever of an epidemic of marijuana-addicted pregnant mothers. For starters, there is no evidence to suggest that cessation of marijuana smoking causes "violent or painful withdrawal" in the manner of crack concaine. We can't imagine anyone suggesting that smoking pot while pregnant is a good thing, but there's no evidence that it causes anything like the major withdrawal symptoms and lasting health effects experienced by so-called "crack babies."

The biggest problem for Kerns is, much like her preposterous warning of ballots being mailed "from Chicago" in the 2013 recalls, she doesn't have any sources to back up her claims. These doctors Kerns, a California-based Republican political spokesperson, is allegedly talking to…don't want to talk to the local press? Because we feel confident that if anything like what Kerns describes was actually happening, those doctors would find a better (or at least a real) news outlet to tell their stories to. In the absence of a credible source, we have to assume this is as bogus as Kerns' last Colorado fish story.

The only question that remains for us is, who is paying Kerns to write this crap? Because as a professional paid spokesperson, somebody is.


13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    Wow, she really does make her living off fear and lies doesn't she?

  2. gertie97 says:

    Maybe she doesn't have the long legs Faux news likes to hire.

  3. Michael Lund says:

    Gotta wonder about the credibility the author, whose twitter handle during her time in CO was @CaliPartyGirl, or something similar


  4. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    Mailing crack babies from Chicago? Now it's a two-fer of bullshit!

  5. Old Time Dem says:

    How high was she when she came up with that?

  6. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    I don't think that Ms. Kerns has much room to be judgmental to anyone about substance use. See photo from isfist in CA in 2012. She doesn't exactly look sober here. 

  7. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    Marijuana use is a hot topic in Colorado Obstetrics, particularly as regards breast feeding, as THC is a large fat soluble molecule which may not even cross the placenta, but is certainly in breast milk.  You shouldn't get high if you're pregnant or nursing, even if it is natural and legal.

    That said, these rumors are 100% bullshit.

    Dr. DaftPunk


    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      DP – thanks for chiming in.  I recalled sitting in a committee heariing last year on mmj /social services issue and remember specifically an OB/GYN testifying that THC wouldn't cross the placenta wall, and that in almost all cases, if a woman is on a prescription drug for many ailments (including depression) that they were far more dangerous to a developing fetus.  None of us want fetuses and babies being adverserly affected – and this bullshit that Kerns is puking up should come as no surprise to anyone.  She, from the party who parades themselves around as the sole defenders of 'life", while they leave this kind of carnage everywhere they go…

  8. CaninesCanines says:

    Don't believe the hype!

    And while we're at it, let's revisit the subject of crack babies. Bring it on, FAIR:

    …But overall, commercial media found the premise – a coming onslaught of affectless genetic deviants – utterly persuasive…

    The premise, however, was false. The inadvisability of using cocaine during pregnancy is not disputed. But subsequent research on cocaine-exposed children found that many of the dangers mentioned in initial studies are simply not borne out.

    A retrospective survey (or "meta-analysis") of 1980s research found serious methodological flaws, from a failure to distinguish cocaine exposure from exposure to other drugs, to a lack of control groups (Teratology, 1991; 44:405-414). Health-care providers working with infants exposed to cocaine in utero found them indistinguishable from other children. Much medical research pointed to other factors – such as the lack of good prenatal care, use of alcohol and tobacco, and, simply enough, poverty – as more primary factors in poor fetal development among pregnant cocaine users than cocaine itself.

    Business Insider.

    National Review of Medicine.

    New York Times: Revisiting the ‘Crack Babies’ Epidemic That Was Not.

  9. CaninesCanines says:

    Does anyone know what this Twitter feed being displayed on this site is all about–the specific case?

  10. Denver Yankee says:

    Randy Corporon has announced that Jennifer Kerns will be on his 5 am segment tomorrow.  I'm sure Randy will insist on knowing what her sources are.  Not!

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