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Virginia hemp stakeholders say THC rules in amended bill don’t go far enough

That provision reflects the state government’s position that consumer safety should override all other concerns in establishing laws to guide the hemp sector, sponsoring lawmakers said earlier.

A Virginia boy’s death last year was attributed to over-ingestion of delta-8 THC from eating gummies, leading to felony murder and felony child neglect charges against his mother. The death was officially ruled an accident attributable to “delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol toxicity” by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Central District of Virginia, although some cannabis experts have cast doubt on that conclusion.

Delta-8, Death, Delta-8 Children

More than 5.4 million Americans are medical cannabis patients. In Florida alone, there are 788,297 medical cannabis cardholders as of Jan. 27 – a 1,107.01 percent increase since 2018.



In the United States, 49.6 million Americans ages 12 and older used cannabis or marijuana in 2020. More than 5.4 million Americans are medical cannabis patients. In Florida alone, where medical cannabis has been legal since 2014, there has been a 1,107.01 percent increase in the number of people with medical cannabis cards, from about 65,310 cardholders in 2018 to 788,297 as of Jan. 27.
One primary reason for the continued increase in cannabis use is risk perception. Many people believe cannabinoids – plant derived, medicinal, and synthetic or chemically engineered – are safe to use because they are non-psychotropic and non-psychoactive. However, for some people, cannabis can be addictive and potentially cause harm when taken with other substances such as alcohol or other drugs.
Despite its widespread use in the U.S. and globally (more than 200 million worldwide), little is known about deaths that are associated with or caused by using cannabinoids. 
Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing are the first to conduct a statewide analysis of deaths in Florida associated with cannabis and synthetic cannabis use, utilizing data from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement from 2014 to 2020. For the study, they examined sociodemographic characteristics, health-related conditions, the presence of other substances, and the type of death associated with the use of these substances.
Results, published in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship show that 386 people died as a result of cannabis use; of these, 258 cases were caused by synthetic cannabis. Nearly 65 percent of these cases involved synthetic cannabis as the only drug involved.
“Synthetic cannabinoids are part of the new psychoactive substances that are two to 100 times more potent than THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana,” said Armiel Suriaga, Ph.D., senior author and an assistant professor in FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. “Synthetic cannabinoids are manufactured chemicals sprayed onto dried, shredded leaves or plant materials that mimic the effect of cannabis, but their actual effects are unpredictable, harmful and deadly.”  
Findings showed that nearly 28 percent of deaths caused by cannabis and synthetic cannabis were in those ages 45 to 54, compared to 9 percent in those ages 8 to 24. This finding suggests a change in the age demographic in the context of mortality considering the attributable health conditions such as cardiovascular heart diseases.
More than 13 percent of cases had cardiac-related conditions such as hypertensive heart disease related to high blood pressure, atherosclerotic heart diseases, cardiac arrhythmias, and cardiomegaly, an enlarged heart. There was one case of death from an ischemic stroke and one case of a death from a hemorrhagic stroke, both related to synthetic cannabis use.
Among the study’s key findings:

  • Nearly 88 percent of those who died from cannabis and synthetic cannabis use were men.
  • Approximately 65 percent were non-Hispanic whites.
  • One hundred percent of cannabis-related deaths occurred in urban counties.
  • In rural counties, 28.3 percent of deaths were related to synthetic cannabis use; 39.9 percent were African American.

Nearly 99 percent of individuals using cannabis and synthetic cannabis died from accidents. Most of these accidents were due to drug intoxications (83.93 percent) and motor vehicular crashes or collisions (14.17 percent) that caused blunt traumas to the head and torso. More motor vehicular accidents were observed in cannabis use as a cause of death rather than synthetic cannabis use. Four individuals died from drowning under the influence of cannabis.
The highest count of deaths related to cannabis use was in 2019; the highest count for synthetic cannabis as a cause of death was in 2018. The lowest count of deaths from both substances ranged from one to three deaths, which occurred in 2014.
“The persistent deaths from cannabis and synthetic cannabis use are a legitimate public health concern,” said Suriaga. “The public should remain vigilant of the adverse health outcomes associated with these substances and their unpredictable effects, especially for men who are disproportionately affected, and particularly for people with underlying cardiovascular and respiratory conditions.”
Study co-authors are Ruth M. Tappen, Ed.D., RN, FAANthe Christine E. Lynn Eminent Scholar and professor, FAU Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing; and Elizabeth R. Aston, Ph.D., an assistant professor, Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Brown University School of Public Health.
This study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse Substance Use Disorder Evidence- Based Practice Training Awards and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Delta-8, synthetics, fatal, Death
Lung Injury Associated with E-Cigarette Use, or Vaping* - Florida

Link continues to update with information.  Latest from the Florida Department of Health on the Vape Lung Illness Crisis. The number of vape lung illnesses increased from 27 to 39. When will Governor DeSantis announce his plan to fight against this crisis? According to the CDC, most cases are linked to vaped marijuana (THC). What is the FL medical marijuana industry doing to protect patients? 

Vaping, Florida, Death
Are there mortality risks for patients with epilepsy who use cannabis treatments as monotherapy?

Two cases of sudden death are reported in patients whose self-determined seizure management primarily relied on artisanal cannabis therapies. Risks of morbidity, mortality and SUDEP in SDTC users need to be further studied. Providers should be aware of the absence of morbidity and mortality data for SDTC in patients with epilepsy may only be due to a failure of reporting.

epilepsy, science direct, Death
2017 Annual Report- Florida Medical Examiner

The seven most frequently occurring drugs found in decedents were ethyl alcohol (5,258), benzodiazepines (5,064, including 1,889 alprazolam occurrences), cocaine (3,129), cannabinoids (2,367), fentanyl (2,088), morphine (1,992), and fentanyl analogs (1,685). Since heroin is rapidly metabolized to morphine, this may lead to a substantial over-reporting of morphine-related deaths as well as significant under-reporting of heroin-related deaths.
Cannabinoids 7 (cause of death)   2,360 (present)  2,367 (total)

fatal, Florida, Death
2017 Drugs Identified in Deceaded person by Florida Medical Examiner

The five most frequently occurring drugs found in decedents were ethyl alcohol (5,318), benzodiazepines (5,167, including 1,851 alprazolam occurrences), cocaine (2,882), cannabinoids (2,292), and morphine (2,040).


Death, medical examiner, Report
Contaminated medical marijuana believed to have killed cancer patient

After his death, testing of 20 medical marijuana samples from across the state found the vast majority were contaminated with dangerous bacteria and fungi.

contaminated, Death, cancer
Police: Virginia Teen Killed 14-Year-Old Who 'Told on Him

A 17-year-old boy beat a 14-year-old to death in Virginia last month after he asked the younger teen to smoke marijuana with him and the younger boy told an adult, law enforcement sources told News4.

Death, Teen
Death of Muslim teen was an accident, not a hate crime, police investigation finds

Warsame told his schoolmate he had never smoked marijuana and would like to try it, and the two smoked together, according to the report.

A toxicology screen by the medical examiner found “relatively high levels”  of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent in marijuana, in Warsame’s system.

youth, Death, Washington
Heavy teen marijuana use may cut life short by 60

Swedish researchers analyzed the records of more than 45,000 men beginning in 1969 and 1970. The scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm reported that 4,000 died during the 42-year follow-up period, and men who'd used marijuana heavily at ages 18 and 19 were 40 percent more likely to die by age 60 compared to guys who hadn't used the drug.

Teens, usage, Death
Woman killed in pot-linked Gresham crash aided dialysis patients, hungry seniors

Kembel's is the highest-profile death associated with cannabis since it became legal for adults to purchase recreational marijuana in Oregon last week. Police said Tuesday it was unclear to what extent marijuana impairment had been a factor in the crash.

Oregon, Gresham, Death
Pot death: Teen leaps 4 stories after eating marijuana cookie

Over the next few hours, the man showed erratic speech and hostile behaviors, the report said. About 2.5 hours after he ate the whole cookie, he jumped off a balcony on the fourth floor of his building, and died from trauma from the fall, the report said.

youth, edibles, Death
Keizer mother sentenced to 11 years in prison for son's death

"She said she didn't know where her son was, and then saw him standing in the living room and made the decision to walk to the manager's office for help instead of going in and getting him out," Nelson said.  By the time she returned, Sosa-Martinez could see her son through the flames, it wasn't too late.

Death, fire, impaired
Notes from the Field: Death Following Ingestion of an Edible Marijuana Product — Colorado, March 2014
Death, edibles, Colorado, CDC
An Increasing Number of Young Children Are Being Exposed to Marijuana, Study Shows

The study, conducted by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, showed a 147.5% increase in marijuana exposure among children younger than 6 years old between 2006 and 2013. That rate spiked by 610% over the same period in states where marijuana was legalized for medicinal purposes before 2000.

Children, exposure, Death, Studies
Marijuana Intoxication Blamed In More Deaths, Injuries

Another death in Colorado has been listed as having “marijuana intoxication” as a factor, according to a CBS4 investigation, and several other families are now saying they believed the deaths of their loved ones can be traced to recreational marijuana use.

Death, denver
Marijuana Intoxication Blamed In More Deaths, Injuries

Daniel Juarez, an 18-year-old from Brighton, died Sept. 26, 2012 after stabbing himself 20 times. In an autopsy report that had never been made public before, but was obtained by CBS4, his THC level — the active ingredient in marijuana — was measured at 38.2 nanograms. In Colorado, anything over 5 nanograms is considered impaired for driving.

Death, Intoxication, suicide, Colorado-0
$55,000 cash bond imposed in unborn child's death

 Russell admitted he had smoked marijuana at lunch and again as he drove to pick up his children in Brodhead, the criminal complaint indicates.“All I did was smoke a bowl of marijuana. It's not like I am high,” Russell is quoted as saying in the criminal complaint.“The defendant did not seem to understand that smoking marijuana and driving were illegal,” the complaint states

impaired, Death, Fatalities, car crashes
Marijuana wax: A clear and present danger

Smoking or ingesting the wax can be deadly. Two teens overdosed in Duluth after using the drug.

hash oil, Minnesota, fire, Death, overdose
Autopsy: Ulele server accidentally drowned in Mango Lake

The autopsy showed Foster had a .098 milligrams-per-liter level of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the intoxicating ingredient of marijuana. Pearson said that is a significant level.
“That indicates very recent use,” she said. “I would say she used marijuana within a half-hour or an hour before she died.”


Death, car crashes 2, alcohol, Florida, tampa
Man fatally shoots himself after eating 5 marijuana candies
Colorado-0, Death, edibles
Marijuana Edibles Blamed For Keystone Death
Colorado-0, Death, edibles
Boulder skier dies after suspected collision with tree at Eldora Mountain Resort
Death, Colorado-0, Colorado
Epilepsy Studies
epilepsy, Charlotte's Web, Death
Grand jury opts not to indict NASCAR's Tony Stewart in fatal incident

20-year-old Ward “was under the influence of marijuana” at the time of the Aug. 9 race at levels “enough to impair judgment.”

Death, impaired
Pandora’s ganja box
OpEd, Death
August 2014- Legalization of MJ Impact Colorado
Colorado-0, youth, car crashes 2, Death, exposure, alcohol
Colorado lawsuit alleges cannabis overdose from fairground candy
Colorado-0, candy, Death, overdose
Marijuana Linked to the Death of Two Young Men in Germany
Death, heart
A Kansas foster father was high on marijuana when he left a 10-month-old girl in a hot car, where she died, prosecutors said Friday.
Death, baby
Deputies: Adults smoking pot while pit bulls kill 4-year-old boy
Death, neglect
Six Ways Science Says Marijuana May Hurt Your Health
addiction, heart, car crashes 2, Impairment, Death, Brain
Winter Haven man arrested for throwing crying baby

“This is just another example of marijuana abuse linked to child abuse,” says Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

Death, abuse
Deadly Impact of Medical Marijuana in Colorado
video, statistics, crime, Colorado, Death
Palm Bay man charged in pedestrian death

A blood sample was taken from Asker after a police investigator detected marijuana impairment.

Impairment, Death, DUI, pedestrians, Fatalities, car crashes
Colo. lawmakers get blunt, move to tighten marijuana rules after two deaths

State legislators said they were concerned by testimony from Children’s Hospital Dr. Michael DiStefano, who said that seven children had been treated since January for symptoms related to marijuana intake. Between 2005 and 2013, that number was six.

Children, Death
Marijuana, crash played role in missing teen’s death
Teens, Death
Potential for heart attack, stroke risk seen with marijuana use
heart, Death, Studies, risks
Denver coroner: Man fell to death after eating marijuana cookies

The coroner also listed "marijuana intoxication" from cannabis-infused cookies as a significant condition contributing to the death.


Colorado-0, Teen, Death
Smoking cannabis CAN kill you: German researchers identify two men who died purely as a result of using the drug

They discovered that the deaths of two of the patients could not be put down to anything other than marijuana use.

Both of these people were men who had died after their hearts started beating either too fast or too slowly.

The researchers believe that this change in heart rhythm – called arrhythmia - was caused by cannabis.

The reason they came to this conclusion was that both had smoked the drug within a few hours of their death and neither had any history of heart problems.

overdose, Studies, Death
Death, overdose
The Converstaion We aren't Having
  • Florida should not legalize marijuana because it is a gateway drug that is addictive and damaging to the teenage brain. Moreover, without FDA regulation there is no way to monitor the drug’s potency.
  • He then fell into the habit of taking pills in order to maintain the buzz he got from pot.
  • It is out of love for our children, for those like my son, that we must say no (to legalizing marijuana).

Death, addiction, legalization
Israeli pharmacists: Cannabis can cause side-effects, even death

The effects of cannabis, the report continues, can be euphoria or dysphoria, calm, anxiety or even psychosis. Additional phenomena include heightened wakefulness followed by drowsiness, a sharpening of the senses followed by slower comprehension, and increased motor activity followed by problems of coordination. “Many of these side effects of cannabis stems from a high dosage or chronic use,” writes the pharmacists' association.

Death, Isreal, Pharmacists, Effects, Side-Effects
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