A Louisiana coroner reports that a 39-year-old woman who died in February on her couch in the town of LaPlace could have suffered a marijuana overdose. Though there is some cause for skepticism over the finding, its accuracy would make hers the first reported case of death caused by marijuana in the world.
“At high levels, marijuana can cause respiratory depression, which means a decrease in breathing,” St. John the Baptist coroner Christy Montegut told a local CBS affiliate. “And if it’s a high enough level it can make you stop breathing.”
His announcement that the woman died from marijuana is startling because it is generally seen as one of the world’s safest recreational drugs. A 2017 study by the Global Drug Survey found that 0.6 percent of cannabis users reported having gone to the emergency room due to its use. For comparison, 1.3 percent of alcohol users had gone to the ER.
Officials learned from the woman’s boyfriend that she had gone to the emergency room for treatment of a chest infection three weeks prior to her death, and that she was a regular vaper. Montegut seemed to imply that these two facts could have interacted to cause the