Dead wrong

One must remain ever cautious of the unpleasant self-fulfilling prophecy. In our last installment of Bizarre Busts, we told the sad tale of a motorist who died from choking on pot that he gulped down when cops pulled him over, and we predicted that his death might spark a new government ad campaign against cannabis. Believe it or not, we weren’t too far from the mark!
In August 2003, when a British man died of unknown causes, the coroner decided to take a stab at a novel theory. The coroner stuck a needle in the dead man’s arm, extracted blood, and posthumously busted the poor corpse for smoking pot. Rather than admit he didn’t know the cause of the man’s death, the coroner recorded it as Britain’s first ever “death by cannabis.” Brit anti-druggies then went wild with exaggerated claims of pot’s harm. According to one newspaper, the deceased had smoked over “23,000 spliffs!”

A follow-up study by the Swiss government found the British blood-sample toxicology report “weak,” “methodologically flawed” and “analytically inadequate.” The Swiss concluded that the man had been suffering from a headache which could have been symptomatic of his impending doom. He probably used cannabis the same way many migraine sufferers do ? to alleviate pain.

In January 2003 another British coroner concluded that a man who shot and killed his neighbor over a protracted feud did so under the influence of cannabis. “This demonstrates, if nothing else, how devastating [pot’s] effects can be,” he preached, demonstrating only what can be described as superhuman idiocy. Although the shooter was known to smoke pot, it was later revealed that he was quite drunk at the time of the killing. We at Cannabis Culture are skeptical that the incident might spark a war on booze.

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