Photo by 2H Media on Unsplash
Photo by 2H Media on Unsplash

Killer Weed

 

How many times have we seen cult classic hits like Up in Smoke with Cheech and Chong making hits from the bong cool since the hippie era, yet this story reads more like a Reefer Madness remake with a woman Named Bryn Spejcher, 33, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2018 fatal stabbing of her then-boyfriend Chad O’melia, 26, at his thousand oaks apartment after she took two hits off a bong.

On May 28, 2018, Bryn Spejcher who had been dating Chad O’melia for a couple of weeks at the time went to O’melia’s apartment where they partook in cannabis which is legal in California, Spejcher took one hit off the bong and felt no effect and at the encouragement of O’melia takes another hit off the bong which she claims she had an adverse effect from it, she then went in the bathroom and came out in a “weed induced psychosis” which led her to stab to death Chad O’melia 108 times and then proceeded to stab the dog In the house,  as the police came to the scene where she was erratically screaming covered in blood attempting to stab herself in the neck.

Bryn Spejcher mugshot
VCSO, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Ventura County Superior Court Judge David Worley ruled that “she’d lost control of her actions” after she entered into a psychotic episode when she stabbed Chad O’melia, 26, 108 times. The jury took less than 4 hours to deliberate and found Bryn Spejcher, 33, guilty of involuntary manslaughter in December of 2023. Given a slap on the wrist as Judge Worley interceded and sentenced her to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.

The Family of Chad O’melia is outraged and feels that this was an injustice saying in a statement that he thinks she won’t learn from this and that this gave every pot smoker a license to kill.

Weed-induced psychosis is a condition that is commonly associated with schizophrenia, the symptoms could vary in length from two to 24 hours depending on the tolerance level of the pot partaker. One thing the experts agree on is that the cannabis potency is far more than what it was in the 1960s-70s, which is why we see a huge uptick in hospitals with people suffering from weed-related symptoms.

California has some stiff laws when it comes to drunk driving and/or being under the influence of drugs and alcohol or so it seemed, under California law you can be found not guilty of a crime if you have been drugged or had spiked drinks without the knowledge or consent of the individual.

It’s a sad day for the families involved hopefully they can find peace and closure in the future.

 this brings us to a wider question since today marijuana use is more prevalent and becoming the norm as we see more states legalizing cannabis use for recreational use, the United States Congress is even debating rescheduling the drug to a level three narcotic which would bring it to the same as Tylenol 3 with codeine, are people especially young people aware of the dangers that marijuana use can have on the body and mind.

When students at the Butte County Community College were asked about this case they were unaware for the most part about most of this case, when asked about the dangers of weed they also claimed to have little to nothing to do with the drug, or have heard very little about the detrimental consequences that can arise from the use of it as well, which either as the legalization grows the coolness of it has dissipated or they are just purely lying as they don’t want to be on the record.

One student in particular, Hayley Thomas said she hadn’t heard of the case “but in rare instances has heard that people can suffer weed induced psychosis” while most were like Evan Hobbs where they didn’t know of the case and hadn’t heard nor knew anyone who has suffered from ‘Weed Induced Psychosis’ Evan told me the gnarliest thing he’s heard people on weed do is “Get really high and just trip out nothing violent though.”

With the way the big weed industry is, it seems to be like the big tobacco of the last century. People should have access to both sides of the argument and know the truth of the ‘benefits’ and the consequences of the use of something that people may see or think is fairly harmless. As more young people seem to be more health conscious than before it’s important to understand the true dangers that lie beneath the surface of things that may seem or feel is harmless at least in the short term.

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