Friday, April 18, 2014

Two Deaths Linked to Marijuana Use in Colorado

When the state of Colorado was considering legalization of marijuana for recreational use, one of the primary arguments is that cannabis is safer to use than alcohol, which is responsible for thousands of deaths each year. The statistics certainly support the idea that marijuana is not a deadly drug. It's been accepted that you can't overdose on weed, and no one gets violent or dies from high speed crashes when "baked."

Until now.

In the past month, two deaths in Colorado are being directly linked to ingestion of THC-infused products. In March, a college student died after jumping off a balcony in a Holiday Inn during what was apparently a marijuana-induced psychotic episode. Levy Thamba was a 19-year-old college student who had come to Colorado for spring break. It is believed that he joined friends here for the purpose of trying out Colorado's new recreational marijuana business. Thamba and friends bought several THC-infused "cookies." While the cookie's dosage was supposedly six servings, and Thamba's friends each had "a slice," Thamba apparently felt nothing early on and ingested the whole cookie. Later on, Thamba became agitated, anxious, and openly hostile. After his friends calmed him down several times, Thamba began hallucinating and left the room. He jumped over the balcony to his death.

The second death linked to ingesting marijuana "edibles" is being ruled a homicide after a man high on weed and hallucinating allegedly shot his wife in the head while she was on the phone with 911. Kristine Kirk was shot and killed by her husband who had apparently ingested marijuana candies a few hours before. Richard Kirk will be charged with first degree murder in the case. When he was arrested, he apparently made bizarre religious statements and admitted shooting her. Kristine Kirk pleaded with the police to hurry after her husband removed their gun from the safe and began threatening the family. The couple have three young children.

This certainly changes the image of marijuana as a safe alternative to alcohol.

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