Schmuck of the Week

Jason Hetke, Busted Wisconsin Pot-Candy Dad: Is Colorado or Bad Parenting to Blame?

Wisconsin's Jason Hetke may be our latest nominee as Schmuck of the Week, but his story contains no shortage of other candidates. That's because after he was busted for neglect and more in the wake of his teen daughter getting sick on pot candy he bought legally in Colorado, law enforcers and the media seem to be placing at least as much blame on the Mile High state as they are on Hetke's apparently schmucky parenting.

See also: Don't Bend Over: Michael Schwairy Busted for Taking Photo Up Teen's Skirt

According to WQOW-TV, based in the Wisconsin town of Eau Claire, Hetke's fifteen-year-old daughter was at her high school when personnel noticed that she was pale, spoke in a garbled fashion and had a weak pulse.

She was rushed to an area hospital, where she was diagnosed with what's described as "an overdose of THC" after consuming a Blue Kudu bar her dad bought in Colorado. She's said to have found it stashed in a dresser drawer.

As noted during the broadcast, the candy was clearly marked with a warning not to consume the entire thing, but the teen gobbled way over the recommended amount anyhow.

Police subsequently searched the Hetke abode, where they found more candy bars, plus hash oil and marijuana seeds. That was more than enough evidence for them to bust Hetke on suspicion of reckless endangerment, neglect and possession of THC. Also arrested: Brett Hetke, Jason's son, who was found to have marijuana and pot paraphernalia in his possession, too. And his younger sister is going to juvenile court because she allegedly knew the bar contained THC but she took and ate it anyhow.

None of these incidents reflect well on Hetke's parenting skills. But from there, the WQOW-TV piece, as well as an extensive article credited to the Chippewa Herald and the Associated Press, takes aim at Colorado.

In the former, a police sergeant warns Wisconsinites not to bring marijuana products purchased here back home, promising they'll be busted if they do, and expresses concern that an influx of weed items from the West could become more common in America's Dairyland. The latter, meanwhile, cites damning info provided by the vigorously anti-pot Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. An excerpt lists the following cases in which Colaradans are accused of mailing pot around the country:

• A Boulder, Colorado, man who sent more than 14 pounds of pot to places including Wisconsin, Massachusetts and California.

• A Lakewood, Colorado, man who police say used his condo and a warehouse to grow enough high-grade marijuana for his crime ring to send between 24 and 60 pounds each month to out-of-state customers.

• A suburban Denver drug task force seized nearly 20 pounds of pot from three FedEx packages bound for Illinois and Kansas.

Granted, the Herald/AP piece lets Amendment 64 co-author Brian Vicente express skepticism about the RMHIDTA report, which he says promotes prohibition. But the overall tone suggests that Colorado is the equivalent of a drug dealer trying to get Wisconsin and the rest of America hooked.

Haven't we gotten off the track here? Isn't the real story that Jason Hetke is a schmuck?

Look below to see the aforementioned WQOW-TV report, followed by a larger look at Hetke's mug shot.

WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts