After Paul took Sadie to the ER I burst into tears. Sadie hates doctors (all the ear infections she had when she was tiny) and I knew that she would be hysterical and terrified. But taking Maggie to the ER wasn't an option, so I stayed behind until Nani got home from her hour and a half drive back from The City (she was on her way home when all this started) and came to watch Maggie.
As I was walking out the door to go to the ER our phone rang and it was Deputy Oliver. I can honestly say that when he first began to speak I knew that the conversation wasn't going to go in a productive direction. I told him exactly what had gone: our two year olds bed room had filled with pot smoke from our next door neighbor and she began to have asthmatic symptoms. She could hardly breath. She was now in the ER.
Deputy Oliver's response: I can't do anything, because your neighbor didn't have malicious intent. He has to intend to hurt her for us to do anything.
I was blown away, but tried to inject some logic into the conversation. The ridiculousness of the situation was clear. I thought of the little girl who was all over the news a few months ago who was Sadie's age and who was taken away from her mother who forced her to smoke pot. The entire nation was aghast. And here I have a daughter who can't breath because our neighbor has filled her room with pot smoke (and let's face it POT IS STILL AGAINST FEDERAL LAW even if we don't have a federal government who's interested in enforcing that law) and he's telling me it's not even worth his time to come out and try to help.
I gave him a hypothetical situation: Say two parents are using meth in front of their young children. They aren't trying to harm their children. They're just trying to get high. Are you telling me that you wouldn't arrest them?
Of course he would, but he said that since he wasn't in her room "blowing smoke on her" he wasn't doing anything wrong.
I pointed out that using marijuana is still illegal in California, this month at least, and that we still don't even know if the person in question has a 215 card. He asked if I'd like him to come over and check. I said yes, because although I can't say with 100% certainty which apartment it is I think it would be pretty easy to figure it out (there are two apartments on the side of the house that stinks... and since one of those apartments is still empty and being renovated, therefore it must be the other...). It was apparently a rhetorical question though, since he had no intention of coming over.
After ten minutes of going round and round with a man who repeated his own completely illogical arguments, despite the fact that I gave him multiple examples of times when his argument wouldn't be true, I said, "Fine. It's clear that you're not going to help us. I need to get to the ER to be with my sick child. I want you to know that I'm going to tell every single person that I can about this situation." And I hung up the phone and walked out the door.
Sadie was hysterically screaming at the hospital. They'd taped a bag to her to collect urine to test, and she was waiting to have a chest x-ray because her chest sounded "raspy." She clung to me and to her Curious George doll and we snuggled under her Tinker Bell fuzzy blanket. She had a fever of just below 102. So we think that she was also sick, but that the fumes triggered an asthma attack... which we are/were praying that the girls had missed having (Paul does).
The chest x-ray came back clear and they sent Sadie home with her little taped on bag, which we're still waiting for her to fill (this kid so could be potty trained if she wasn't so stubbornly set against it!).
Paul did call the sheriff (who was wonderful to take our panicked call in the middle of the night) and he said he'd look into it.
And this morning we're watching Dora (which distracts Sadie from being sick) and pondering our next step.
Something needs to be done to protect our children from drugs. This is a major problem and if marijuana is "legalized" next month, it's going to grow.
I'm going to do everything in my power to keep that from happening, because truly, this isn't a "victimless crime." I could see the face of one of the victims when I looked at my gasping child last night.