Mother's grief has turned her into a crusader against bath salts
Note: There is a picket against bath salts in Batavia scheduled for tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 400 Ellicott St.
Nicole Lang said today she had no idea what bath salts did to people when her son was still running The Laughing Buddha on Ellicott Street, Batavia.
Her son, 28-year-old Jason Lang, allegedly sold bath salts at that location and last week Nicole Lang went to the new head shop (named 420 Emporium) on Ellicott Street and demanded that the store stop selling bath salts to her son.
The confrontation led to Nicole being issued an appearance ticket for alleged trespass, and the news reports of that event led to several people in the community to ask why Nicole Lang wasn't confronting Jason when he was allegedly selling the synthetic cocaine/methamphetamine.
"I never seen how bad the drug was," Nicole said. "I guess you really don't understand it until you see a person who is on it.
"He shouldn’t have sold it," she added. "And now this is his punishment because his life is just about shot."
Within the past several weeks, Jason Lang has been arrested for allegedly calling the landlord of 420 Emporium and impersonating a State Police "detective"; he's been charged with falsely reporting an incident for allegedly calling emergency dispatchers and reporting shots fired at a local hotel; and, he's reportedly made several other calls to emergency dispatchers reporting things that turned out to be unfounded (but no charges were filed related to those calls).
Today, Jason Lang was supposed to appear before Justice Tom Williams in Town of Batavia Court on the false impersonation charge, but Lang's attorney Edward Martin told WIlliams that because the date of the case had been moved, his client didn't know about today's scheduled appearance.
Williams accepted the explanation and agreed to postpone Lang's appearance until Aug. 21.
About two hours before Jason's scheduled appearance, Lang called The Batavian's Howard Owens to talk about his situation.
During the 20-minute phone call, Lang acknowledged that he had a court appearance scheduled for 1 p.m. in the Town of Batavia and said that he would be there.
When we attempted to ask Martin about this apparent discrepancy, as Martin rushed to his car, he said, "What do you want me to tell you? What my client said to me?" He then jumped in his car, slammed the door and refused to take the business card of another reporter.
As soon as Martin drove off, Jason Lang called Owens again and wanted to confirm that his attorney had been able to reschedule his court appearance.
Lang said he wanted to meet with Owens.
Within three minutes, he was in the court parking lot talking with Owens and WHAM 13's Sean Carroll.
The reason Lang didn't appear in court today, he said, is "because my attorney knew I had more important things to do."
He then asked that we not disclose the nature of his other business today.
During the morning phone call, Lang was talking very fast about a wide range of conspiracies that tie in the federal government, state police, specific local police officers, the Chinese government and "every important person in Genesee County."
He believes he knows too much about what's really going on in Genesee County related to bath salts and that his life is in danger.
He said the State Police have been monitoring his every move, including placing cameras in VCRs and other electronic devices because they're making a documentary about bath salts.
He said it is either an FBI agent or State Police internal affairs investigator who first got him hooked on bath salts.
He said he has porno films that have "bogus" FBI warnings at the beginning saying the films were made in California, but that the actors in the films are all "the most important people in Genesee County."
Nicole Lang said when her son is on bath salts, he talks fast and rambles on about conspiracies.
"We don't really know what he's talking about. He says, 'please don't think I'm crazy. I'm going to solve this puzzle.' He says, 'Bath salts made me brilliant. I’ve learned everything about everybody.' "
A year ago, Lang seemed to be doing pretty well for himself and Nicole said she was proud that her son was making a good living running his own businesses.
His twin brother, she said, decided to get an education and is now in a doctorate program, but she said Jay wanted to prove he could make something of himself just through hard work rather than getting an advanced education.
But when Lang decided to open a store that was part head shop and part tattoo parlor, that's when things started to go wrong.
"When he told us he was opening we told him, 'no, you don’t need that you’re doing good,' " Nicole Lang said. "The Laughing Buddha is the most evil thing that ever happened because that’s where everything started, at The Laughing Buddha, and that’s where everything went downhill."
All that Lang once had, she said, has been replaced by a pile of bills and bankruptcy for Lang seems inevitable.
Asked if Jason is a threat to the community, Nicole said he could be, but said she believes he would never intentionally hurt anybody. He's a bigger threat to himself, she said.
The day Nicole went to the 420 Emporium, she said she had spent the afternoon with him in a cemetery where he prayed for God to take his life.
"He said, 'just come to shoot me now because I’m not going to commit suicide, because I want to go to heaven and see my children some day.'
"One of these days, one of these days he is going to be dead," Lang's mother added. "Or he's going to wind up in prison for the rest of his life because he’s under the influence, and really, it’s not even him. He’s a good person. Right now he’s so messed up, it’s not Jason."
The protest planned for tomorrow, though, isn't just about Jason.
"I’m not just trying to save him," his mother said. "There are so many people. There are his kids and there are other kids. This is just such a horrible drug right now. This is a awful drug."
Her son, at least today, agrees.
He supports making bath salts illegal he said and doesn't believe others should use it.
"I apologize to the community," Jason said. "I think bath salts in general can screw up a lot of people's lives. People don’t trust you anymore, you lose friends, you lose finances, just like any other drug. What I can assure you though is that through this whole thing, I've kept my sanity."
Later in the same conversation, he said, "They (bath salts) are dangerous. They’re dangerous. It’s something you don’t want to mess with, just like other drugs. One thing I’ve learned about bath salts is they kind of get a grip on you more than any other drugs."
"I would like to make a public apology," he added, "to the police, to anybody I’ve caused grief to, any thing that has gone on that’s been a negative side to it; however, I did learn a lot of really interesting things from it. If there’s somebody out there who could help me in that sense, that would be awesome."
One of the "side effects" of bath salts is paranoia, and hallucinations, I have spoken with many users who report seeing the police or FBI following them or in their yards/houses. I have spoken with people who have had hallucinations of snakes crawling out of the floor, to the point where they tried to stab the snakes with a knife..
I hope he's not driving around high on that stuff!!!
This is indeed a sad story. At this point, Jason needs to be isolated from everything, locked in a room and forced to dry out. He needs medications such as Xanax to get rid of his anxiety while he detoxes. Good meals, water, detox, lots of sleep and communication with people who will help him.
If that were my son, law be damned, he'd be off the street even if I had to tie him down in the basement. He wouldn't be allowed to leave until he'd been detoxing for a month. Kidnapping is illegal but saving a life isn't. I'd still do it.
On another note, Jason's lawyer lied to the judge because he knew his client was high and would make a fool of himself in the court room.
Left on the cutting room floor. Lang's parents, according to Nicole, have twice taken him for mental health evaluation and he was declared "100 percent healthy." That was a point Lang made to me in our morning discussion.
They've also have taken him to Hope Haven, but Lang walked out after a few hours, Nicole said. He can't be held against his will.
Yeah, paranoid delusions are "100% healthy!"
Well hopefully the court will "encourage" him to get treatment when he finally gets in there to face the music. Honestly the person has to want help though for any program to work, I feel sad for people that were doing well then fall victim to drugs and alcohol like this. I dont believe that his mother is defending his actions or sayin he's innocent. But she is taking the frustration and stress from a hopless situation and making a positive stand by doing this protest even in the face of detractors that assign blame to the whole Lang family, anyone who has had an abuser in their family or life is very familiar with this powerlessness they have over what the abuser is doing and the emotions and stresses that result.....
Its a good thing your doing tomorrow Mrs. Lang I will make an effort to be there and support it. I have a feeling other will as well.
Howard, nice job!
The bottom line is Jason is still making his own choices. Go ahead and picket in front of 420 Emporium ... will that stop Jason from making those bad choices? I'm guessing not. Nothing has up until now - not even having his child taken from him. At any visit with this sweet toddler, he has YET to test clean. As a tax payer, I think this testing and visitation should stop until he chooses to get his act together. I don't want to continue to pay for his ignorance any more. If Jason doesn't get this junk through any of the 420 stores, he's going to get it someplace else. Redirect your energy where it would make the most sense. The 420 (while they could) was doing exactly what Jason was doing when he owned his own store - making money off of the heartache of others; and knowing it was hurting and even killing people, he continued to sell for the sake of the almighty dollar. The Langs need to stay out of the spotlight, quit pointing the finger at others, accept responsibility, and move on. I truly hope that something gets through to Jason - and to anyone and everyone else to has had contact/experience with these substances. Addiction is horrible and these illegal drugs are hooking people so terribly hard. Individuals and families need to pull up their adult panties and support sobriety. Start at home and then work to keep this stuff out of stores, off the streets, and fight to make it illegal. Best of luck to all in their efforts.
Coming from someone who told the family of the child from Batavia who was murdered by his stepmother to "move on", I'm not surprised at all by your response. I'm wondering where you get the information that "at any visit with this sweet toddler, he has YET to test clean." It seems as if there is some sort of visitation through family court or DSS, that information would be confidential.
Lisa, if you had a clue about the disease of addiction, you would know Jason has no choice. Prayers for you and your family Mrs. Lang. Please don't take the comments of some judgmental people to heart. Anyone who is affected by this disease knows how heartbreaking it can be and until the judgmental walk in your shoes, which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, they will never know. Jason going to jail and cleaning up might save his life. Regardless of the fact there is little or no treatment for the incarcerated, a period of time away from the drug will allow him to gain back the freedom of choice.
He has yet to test clean? I thought that it's not possible to test for bath salts and that's why people w/ legal troubles, mandatory testing for work, etc use them?
Beth, Judith, Jason -
Beth - I'm certain DSS is keeping information confidential. I did not reveal my source. The victims of any kind I wish could "move on" in some fashion. Without being able to do that, you never get past the grief and can be so overwhelming. I realize that grief never fully goes away. I don't know what your basing "I'm not surprised by your response" on because you do not know me. Please read below to Judith - I am empathetic and sad for all families affected.
Judith - I am not unkind or unaware of how awful addiction is. I have given the Lang family my best. I hope all families affected by addition (especially related to this most recent substance) get the help they need. With any luck, Jason and his family will find the treatment and support they need. I'm not unsympathetic. I just believe that they should stop blaming others for the decisions of the only person responsible - the addicted individual.
Jason - I was unaware that bath salt users "never" test clean. I also was made aware by a local substance abuse agency that there is testing, but it's tricky because it tests only for specific substance. I am not aware of what substance this man is dirty on. I was just saying. Thanks for the info. If I am misunderstanding you, I apologize.
I think 99%+ of commentors are really in support of the same thing. We're just not all recognizing that fact - not being respectful of opinions of others, or misinterpreting the written work, or have misconceptions of written comments.
The before and after picture of this guy would make an effective PSA. It would scare me enough to never try it.
Lisa- not for nothing, but your statement towards Jason is libelous, not to mention, mean spirited. I certainly hope addiction never personally affects you, or anyone you love.
Doug- Amen to that, I'd do the same thing. I'd take whatever punishment man gives me cause I know my God would understand, and that's all that really matters :)
You say DSS is keeping the information confidential but in the next breath say you say you did not reveal your "source"? And demanding that 420 stop selling bath salts to her son is not blaming anyone. It was a plea to save her child's life. You're right Lisa, I don't know you but I've read plenty of your comments on here and frankly, you're not someone I want to know. You say that the family is putting the blame on someone else but you have no problem putting the blame on them. You said that you do not support this family and called them 2-faced. Do you know them? Do you know if they have condoned any of Jason's actions? Parents have very little control over their adult children. It seems like they have tried everything to get Jason the help he needs and I'm praying that he can get this poison out of his system to realize that he needs help.
Bud - I appreciate the thought, but addiction has affected my family my entire life. My comments and concerns are not without experience. I don't consider my comments about Jason mean-spirited, just real. Again, I hope he gets the help he needs. As he admitted, this is an awful addiction. These substances are horrific.
Beth - I'm sorry you feel the way you do, but like myself, you are entitled to your opinion and I respect that. Yes, I do believe the family is not accepting responsibility - or acknowledging that it's Jason's responsibility. I've never said that parents or otherwise had control over Jason's choices. You misinterpret or misread my words. Here's hoping you get over your hate.
Her "child" is an adult. No one is forcing him. At least he's recognized the awful hold this substance has on him - on any and everyone. The source is not the issue. You are missing my point, but that's ok.
I am sure being High isn't a excuse for missing your court appointment. He should get into trouble for lying. (again) Cocaine, Crack, Meth and PCP can make you paranoid and talk fast.
Jason is to blame for his own actions. He bought it and ingested the stuff. No one forced him and He could have gotten it from anywhere not just this one store. We know he has been making up stories so whats to say he is pointing fingers at this store to cover up his real pick up place? I am a recovering addict and have been clean since July 2007 so I don't want to hear people say I don't understand what he is going thru. He has had his family is whole life to fall back on when he got into trouble and I believe they take part in enabling him.
He says he wants to change but does he really mean it? Addicts will say they want help but already have plans on how to get the next high.
Kudos on your recovery and accepting responsibility for yourself. I wish you continued success.
Great to hear you have been clean for 5 years Autumn, thats how long it takes to fully clear yourself from both the mental and physical side of addiction. I wish you continued success in your recovery.
My take: Bath Salts are a highly addictive legal substitute for cocaine and meth. I wish Jason and his family all the best and I hope he seeks treatment. Chemists for the companies that make this stuff are always 1 step ahead of lawmakers who are trying to make these products illegal. A change of 1 molecule or a "product type" change keeps it legal until the next "round of legislation is made". If a buisness in Batavia or any other town near here wasn't selling stuff it is still available on the internet. Don't think I'm lying..try a google search for "amped" and see how many sites you can buy it from.
The bottom line is this: I think that an individual needs to want to stop more than anything else in his/her life, or he/she will continue to find a way legally or illegally to get that "rush/high".
Autumn, truly you have looked the beast in the eye and have overcome, it is obvious that you understand the true nature of addiction.
What strikes me as I read and reread this article is that I do not believe that Jason Lang has yet to bottom out, my view seems to be supported by your post.
I agree with you especially on this point, with all good intention, and I truly understand the Lang families grief, there appears to be some unintentional enabling here as well.
That is the true horror of addiction, those who love you in an effort to help you at times contribute to the problem in their efforts to support you.
My heart goes out to his mother. The best thing a judge could do for him is throw him in jail. You can not leave jail but can leave a rehab. Hopefully the court and DA will force him into sobriety or detox by locking him up. The best thing his family could do is not bail him out.
He may not get drug treatment in jail, but mental health services do go there.
Autumn, being in recovery, one would think you would have more compassion for his powerlessness over the drug. If somehow the cycle can be broken, then he can accept responsibility for his actions. If and when that day comes, he absolutely does have to own it. No point in speaking of it now. Personally, hope springs eternal and I have faith that anyone can recover. I definitely do not make a judgment call whether someone wants it enough or not. Personally I am hoping all this controversy will be the catalyst for him to get better.
Lisa you cant have it both ways if you do indeed have a history of addiction in your family and have dealt with it all your life, then shame on you for the blinders you've put on. You know the family has no control over the addict, nor can they affect behavior when the addict is in the cycle of using as the substance is controlling them not their own self. Untils they bottom out it all about getting to the next fix or hit. They will manipulate and or use family and friends to that end at all cost.
Without even talking to them you fault the Lang family and spread hearsay and gossip about Jason. No matter how supposedly reliable the source it's still hearsay. Then when Beth Judith and Bud take you harshly to task you try to smooth it over with explanations of misinterpretations and it being opinion. But I will tell you before this mornings protest I did not know the Langs, however listening to them tell reporters, and other members the story. I can tell you a fact, they do feel responsible beyond anything, they agonize over being but in the situation that requires them to do "tough love" and to distrust someone they have loved and trusted all their lives. Autumn is right.... family does enable the addict just because of who the person was before they came under the control of their addiction, bacause of the love they had. Its a hard thing when they come to realize the depth of the corrupting influence of the addiction on the loved one and come to the realization that they cant help or trust that person any more. MY OPINION is that the Langs have passed that point and now concentrate on getting awareness out and trying to shut down the source of that addictive substance before more people pass that point of no return where they all but lose their lives to this awful substance.
Lucie, until Jason is ready to admit to himself and others, that his life is out of control, there is no jail, there is no rehab, and there is no detox that can help him. Beleive me, I know from experience. To this very day, I am an alcoholic, the minute I forget that, my life is in serious danger.
Kyle, its called "tough love" Many people are unaware that they in fact are enablers, its a fine line sometimes.
You know Kyle, it is difficult for many to truly understand 'Enabling' it goes beyond addiction as well.
Some parents unintentionally enable their children who commit other crimes because they want to protect them, it is human nature. Likewise, when you raise a child to adulthood and they screw up, no matter how major or how minor, you yourself feel responsible. It is clear that Lang family does although as the story emerges, it is even more clear that were not.
You are begining to strike me as wise beyond your years.
Frank I agree but to get him dry he should be thrown in jail for his actions. You can not walk out of there like you can a rehab. Not saying it will change him but it would probably be safer for him with all this behavior.
Not at all Mark its just common sense, open eyes and alot of learning not just from my own exp but those around me as well.
1. The family may have "no control" but they can/do enable. This is not easy on families and I know this first hand.
2. No one takes me to task. They expressed an opinion and I respected that. We don't agree and that's ok. I need to smooth nothing over with anyone. However, this is not personal and I don't know these people. Even if I did, I do truly respect others' opinions (even yours).
3. I don't doubt the sincerity of the Langs and their pain (my original point was not to blame the shop ... not that I agree with the shop ... for adult choices Jason was making). I wish them no harm. Not smoothing jack with these people either. I am sincere.
It's ok that you don't agree with me, but it's my right to my opinion. You are making this so personal. Let it go (with me). You won't win. It's not a win-lose situation.
Nice BS job Lisa but when you said... "At any visit with this sweet toddler, he has YET to test clean."
When you said this about Jason you are not voicing and opinion you are stating a supposed fact.
Also you ARE spreading inaccuracies also in this statement... "Redirect your energy where it would make the most sense. The 420 (while they could) was doing exactly what Jason was doing when he owned his own store - making money off of the heartache of others; and knowing it was hurting and even killing people, he continued to sell for the sake of the almighty dollar."
Thats funny because the Laughing Budda closed weeks ago, and turned all the dubious product over to the authorities, so how is it in any way the truth that he is making money off of it now like 420 is. Federally the products were made illegal a last week when Obama signed the new law, they even lied to Rose Mary Christian saying they weren't selling the product after this past monday. But when we protested there were still people coming out and telling us they were purchasing the product still. Now thats a merchant thumbing their nose at the community. Do we stand a merchant telling the community that they are gonna do what they want despite any laws or rules or danger to the public. Well then why dont we allow a strip club to open in downtown, maybe a pornographic theater and adult book/toy store.... Oh thats right they sell materials that while legal are of a corrupting influence and therefore not allowed to open up in downtown. Seems like a double standard to me.
Grow up. Respect others as you wish to be respected. I'd be glad to debate again when that happens. You continue to make this personal. I'm asking you to stop.
In addition (Kyle) -
I did not intend that Laughing Budda is "now" selling. I realize that they are closed.
I did not say that I didn't agree with protesting 420 Emporium. I felt it should be done for the right reasons, which for the most part, seemed to be the case.
There are no double standards.
I welcome a healthy, respectful, adult conversation, but if you're going to attack me personally, then I am asking that you stop.
Let's see Lisa - aside from calling the Lang family two faced and hypocrites, you said:
"This mother is unreal!! Place the blame everywhere else but where it should be. These shops should be closed - hers was one of the biggest problems - and her bf/husband played all kinds of games: selling it, not selling it, authorities picking on me, I'm taking the ethical view, impersonating a law enforcement officer. Woman, start at home"!
Where did you get your information from? Mrs. Lang and her "bf/husband" as you put it, had nothing to do with this store. Your accusations are completely unfounded and now you're telling us to respect others?
Once again Lisa please have the "respect" not to treat myself and others like fools, your comments as posted were very disrespectful and to treat them as otherwise now really not only insults the intelligence of the readers and posters here but makes the credibility of any opinion you post very dubious at best. This back tracking and pretending the intent behind your comments was anything but what was apparent is just what I called it earlier.....BS its not personal at all its just a fact unless you'd like us to start quoting you verbatim. I'm obviously not the only one noticing either
I am asking you to respect me and my opinion - not to agree with it. If Mrs. Lang has a problem with me, I welcome her to address me. If my statements u believe are slanderous (or any other such thing) to someone other than yourself, then it is not up to you to handle. I will ask you the same - please stop this banter. Thank you.
I am asking you to respect me and my opinion - not to agree with it. If Mrs. Lang, or her son, or whomever, has a problem with me, I welcome her to address me. If my statements u believe are slanderous (or any other such thing) to someone other than yourself, then it is not up to you to handle. You believe what you will ("back tracking") - my intention was to try to explain myself when it appeared I was not understood as I intended to be. It doesn't really matter, Kyle. None of this was directed to or about you, so it's really not your business. I will ask you the same AGAIN - please stop this banter. Thank you.
Respect is earned.
Real respect is not available by request.
And respect is a two way street.
Sorry Lisa this is not personal at all, its simply my own opinion and moral compass coming out. First of all your comment that this is none lf my business is a dodge in my view, this is a public forum that I belong to, you made comments about a subject then did a reversal when people pointed out a certain level of hypocracy, if you dont want people to criticize or make comments then dont post, but one it is posted you need to own it. I have butted heads with many in here being of an oppositional opinion, but I do listen and if something is pointed out the shows an error or a contradiction I dont dodge it I own it and make apologies and or corrections to my own opinion, thats called learning and it takes a person who doesnt think they are always right and everyone else is wrong to accept that. I never asked Judith, Bud or Beth nor Mark for support, in fact I have disagreed with all of them at one point or another.
I could respect your opinion if you chose one to stand behind, so far everything you began your stance on you have reversed yourself and said just the opposite. The when that was pointed out you wanted to forget it. Life doesnt work that way, If you changed your mind because from others comments you saw that your original statements were more emotional than well thought out then say so.... otherwise you are percieved as a little wacked yourself. No disrespect intended but sometimes I am blunt like that.
The banter will not cease just because you want it to, obviously others in here are interested or bothered by either your original statements or your "explainations" of why you said them then decided to reverse them. Their just contradictions that dont make sense. Except that you were uncomfortable at being held to the content of your opinions and are now pandering to us to make it look like you meant something else or we were confused.
I am who I am, if someone stonewalls or tells me something isnt what I thought it was I will stubbornly argue my side until something sensible is brought forward to correct my error in perception. To argue something and then stop just because someone tells me to isnt in my character. It seems a dodge or a cop out. I contribute my opinions and comments in here with the full knowledge that they will be scrutinized and taken apart, I choose to still do so cause I am willing to defend my beliefs, but also willing to learn from others viewpoints and opinions that may be from knowledge I dont have.
Am I getting thru to you Lisa or is this a lost cause.... To be honest my expectation is that your just pig headed and self centered and since you looked bad with the original comments your trying to get out of appearing that way. But my hope is you did just let emotion and feelings speak first then your intelligence kicked in and saw that it wasnt what you really meant, and thats ok cause we all are human and have feelings. Tell me about a rape of a child and you will hear me spout off about punishing the rapist is such ways that make medeval tourture techniques look like massage therapy. But then my intelligence will kick in and see how wrong it is and compensate.
Apparently Lisa has confused her right to _have_ an opinion with having an imaginary right to not have her opinion challenged when she expresses it in public. In a free society, having the right of free speech is not the right to be right.