Death by Pot Candy: Multiple Fatalities in Colorado Linked to Marijuana Edibles

By Zachary Siegel 03/27/15

The family of Luke Goodman is blaming edibles for his suicide last week.

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While on vacation at a Colorado ski resort, 23-year-old Luke Goodman shot himself after taking five times the recommended dose of peach-flavored candies infused with marijuana that he purchased from a local dispensary. According to a CBS Denver report, his family is blaming the suicide on the marijuana candies.

After ingesting a couple of the candies and feeling no effect, he began to munch down several at once. On the back of the candy wrappers there is a warning that lets users know the effects of the candy may be delayed by a couple of hours. It’s likely the young college graduate did not read the label.

Hours after ingesting the edibles, Luke’s cousin said he became jittery and incoherent. Luke’s family then went on an outing that he refused to go on and while alone in the condo he took his handgun, which he traveled with for protection, and shot himself.

Close family members disclosed that Luke showed no signs of depression or mental illness and was an all around well-adjusted 23-year-old. Though, an argument can be made that one who feels the need to bring a handgun on a ski trip may not be so well adjusted.

This is just one of three recent cases in Colorado where seemingly benign pot edibles have been linked to erratic behavior resulting in death. Last year, a Wyoming college student jumped off a hotel balcony after eating six times the recommended dose of pot cookies.

Another Denver man is facing murder charges after he shot his wife. Just moments before the murder, his wife dialed 911 and reported that her husband was hallucinating after he’d eaten both prescription drugs and marijuana candy.

At this point, no sound causal argument for marijuana edibles being responsible for these deaths can be made, but people are calling for them to be taken off the market.

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Zachary Siegel is a freelance journalist specializing in science, health and drug policy. His reporting has also appeared in Slate, The Daily Beast, Salon, Huffington Post, among others. He writes often about addiction, sometimes drawing from his own experience. You can find out more about Zachary on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.