Earlier this summer, the nation's first wrongful-death lawsuit against recreational marijuana companies was filed on behalf of children whose father is accused of shooting their mother to death while he was high. Now bizarre details about the day of the murder are being revealed in testimony at a hearing for the criminal case.
According to the lawsuit, two marijuana businesses are responsible for the death of the Denver woman who was shot and killed by her husband after he ate marijuana candy and began hallucinating. Early reports also said the now 49-year-old man had purchased a joint and may have taken prescription pain medication before the shooting. He was charged with first-degree murder.
The candy should have carried a warning label that included dosage instructions and potential side effects, including hallucination, paranoia, and psychosis, the lawsuit states. According to a legal analyst, a single marijuana edible may contain multiple doses of tetrahydrocannabinol -- or THC -- the primary mind-altering ingredient found in the Cannabis plant. While the effects of smoking pot wear off in an hour or two, the high from edibles can last up to eight hours. The recreational marijuana industry is a billion-dollar a year industry. In Colorado, edibles make up about 45 percent of the industry.
Per regulations adopted by Colorado in 2015, a serving size of an edible can contain no more than 10-milligrams of THC. It must also be in child-resistant packaging and contain warning statements on side effects. The label must also inform consumers that it may take an hour or more to feel the effects. However, these regulations did not go into effect until a year after the 44-year-old Denver mother was shot.
The woman called 911 at 9:30 p.m., April 14, 2014, about half an hour after her husband began acting erratically and hallucinating. He repeatedly crawled in and out of a first-floor window and lay down on the floor begging someone to kill him. He also was ranting about the end of the world. The woman tried to hide her three sons in the basement to protect them from their father, according to court documents.
The woman was on the telephone with a police dispatcher for 12 minutes before she was shot. The dispatcher, who failed to tell officers that the armed man was becoming increasingly violent, has since resigned. In total, it took officers 19 minutes to arrive at the house from the time the 911 call was placed. After the man shot his wife, he went into the bedroom of one of his sons and asked the boy to kill him.
Earlier this year, the marijuana industry experienced another legal first when a product liability lawsuit was filed against a cannabis grower for using a pesticide that allegedly emitted hazardous chemicals when burned.
If you or a loved has been harmed as a result of products sold at marijuana dispensaries, you may be entitled to compensation, despite the recent Arizona ruling. Call the offices of trial attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian at 800-529-6162 or contact them online. The firm handles cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.