The Latest Marijuana Death Story Where Cannabis Didn’t Kill The Person
Every now and then we hear about another alleged “marijuana related death” only to find out that…no…cannabis did not kill that person.
Today we’re talking about a fellow advocate who died in New Jersey, where his parents blamed weed for the death of their son. Michael Zioboro, 22 years old, was found on April 10th by his mother, Kristina, unconscious in his room.
After she called 911, Michael died before the emergency responders could get to him. The medical examiner did a toxicology report of the deceased and found cannabis in his system. Additionally, they found medical marijuana in his room.
His mother told NBC’s Today Show, “He was such an advocate…he thought it was wonderful. He thought it was safe. He thought it was natural and organic and it ended up killing him…”
Understanding the Mother’s Grief
For those of us who have lost people close to us, trying to find some reasoning behind the sudden death is natural. A grieving mother needs closure. Whether through a mixture of this grief and the Raegan Era anti-drug propaganda, the mother concluded that weed must be responsible for her son’s death.
After all, he is 22 and there is no reason as to why his heart would simply give out. Thus, I don’t blame the mother for thinking that weed killed her son. What does anger me slightly is that it was broadcasted on the Today Show, creating a sense that “cannabis might be able to kill you”.
This of course is completely ludicrous and there has never been a single death in the entire history of cannabis consumption directly due to marijuana. It’s physically impossible to overdose on weed and that is the only way that you can claim a “drug killed a person”.
Most people who looked at this story and knows a thing or two about cannabis commented that it’s highly unlikely that marijuana killed this young man. Some medical professionals even suggested that the Zioboros conduct a full medical examination to determine that perhaps they suffer from genetic disorders as opposed to blaming cannabis for the death.
Another reason is that some people just die. All over the world there is a syndrome known as SADS or sudden adult death syndrome. In England alone, nearly 500 people die each year for no apparent reason. These are people with no prior heart conditions or other medical factors.
Interestingly enough, most of the people who died suddenly were males with an average age of 32 years old. However, the statistics show that it can affect anyone between the age of 7 and 64. Furthermore, 18% of those who died suddenly had a family history of sudden unexplained deaths before the age of 45.
I know it’s a scary though, but this is something that occurs. Granted, it’s not something that occurs in mass but it has happened. In fact, in the US from 1890-1900 there have been 40,000 reported sudden deaths without a cause. Of course, these are statistics from over a hundred years ago and odds are that a number of those deaths could be explained by modern science, however many of them would be without explanation.
The point I’m trying to make here is that people die…and some die for unknown causes.
I understand that Michael’s mother needs something to blame for her son’s death. She needs to make sense of it all. I’m glad that she’ll check her family’s medical history to help find her answers, but there is no possible way (at least today) to blame cannabis for the death.
We have to understand that each organism is unique. Perhaps his particular genetic makeup didn’t mesh well with cannabis or perhaps it was some other reason we can’t fathom at this particular moment in time.
The Problem with Blaming Drugs for Death
I have known 80-year-old coke heads that have outlived ‘healthy people’. Similarly, we have smokers living to a 105 whereas marathon runners die at age 34.
Whatever drug you use will have some risk factor. For instance, coffee to a person with hypertension is not a good thing all the while I can down six cups in one day and feel nothing.
This is also a problem when it comes to making drug laws. We blanket the human race under one biological profile. But not everybody reacts to drugs the same and thus to create blanket statements in a diverse biological profile is not the best way to go about it.
Of course, some drugs are just bad for you. But not all drugs are the same either. There are so many factors we always have to consider when making claims like this.
As mentioned, I’m totally fine with Kristina Zioboro looking for answers, what I’m not fine with is that media outlets jumped on the opportunity to create misinformation to an uneducated public. That is the real story here. And you learned you could die for no apparent reason and that males are more susceptible to this type of death than females. So that’s something…