Jodi House Director Clarifies Comment

In a recent issue of your newspaper there was a letter that misquoted me. My statement was truncated by a journalist and therefore taken out of context.

I am writing to clarify publicly my position. After all, I am the only one who knows what my intentions were and what my true position is.

First, let me say to Ms. Smith, I am sorry about your son. You cannot be blamed for feeling upset by a comment you believe minimizes your son’s condition or what it’s like to experience life with the effects of a brain injury. Let me assure you and everyone else who misunderstood my remark I would not make a reckless comment diminishing in any way the difficulty of dealing with a brain injury.

I stand by my position that long-term drug abuse does cause diminished cognitive ability, a more politically correct way of saying brain damage. This is especially true when that abuse begins in the early teen years when the prefrontal cortex of the brain is still developing. This fact is not pulled out of thin air. Scientific evidence backs it up.

I believe for those who lack coping skills to manage emotion it is a quick trip from disagreement to blind rage, resulting in such behavior as the burning of the “Yes on T” political signs in my front yard.

I personally invite Ms. Smith to reach out to us at Jodi House. I invite you to tour of our beautiful new place. We welcome your family to explore what we have to offer with our resources and support.

Mari Mender is the director of Jodi House Brain Injury Support Center

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Push Comes to Shove Between Law Enforcement and Mental Health

County supervisors confront too many needs with not enough money.

Helicopter Hits Electrical Wires, Starts Small Fire

A crop duster hit power lines in Ellwood Canyon.

County Accountant Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $2 Million

Forensic audit discovers almost 300 false invoices filed over nine years.

Los Padres ForestWatch Opposes Logging in Condor Country

Timber companies target 2,800 acres of trees near Mt. Pinos along the Tecuya Ridge.

Lawmakers Move to Impede Offshore Oil Leases

A pair of bills aim to counter the federal government's new push for production.