baby cannabis death
baby cannabis death

No, Cannabis Did Not Kill an 11-Month Old Baby

Baby is not the first person to ever die from marijuana

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Saturday Nov 25, 2017

No, Cannabis Did Not Kill an 11-Month Old Baby

Myth Busted : No Cannabis did not Kill an 11-Month Old from CannabisNet on Vimeo.


I subscribe to several alerts about certain keywords including, “Marijuana”, “Cannabis” and so forth. In one of these RSS feeds, it was flooded with a headline that read, “Marijuana Claims First Death – an 11 Month old Baby”

Immediately, the Reefer Madness was strong with this one.

Sensationalism sells. This is something that every news agency [sadly] understood and thus instead of simply reporting on what happens…they like to spin it to a click-bait style news cycle.

Having read the title, I had to see what it all was about.


The Article In a Nutshell

According to most of the articles you’ll read containing this headline it will start off with some general spiel about cannabis and the US.

Then, eventually it would lead into the meat of the story. An 11-month old baby was admitted to the emergency room after having a seizure in Colorado. According to the child’s guardians, he has been acting irritable and lethargic. The doctors did their examination and looked at the patient’s history and found that he was ‘healthy’.

However, within the hospital the boy was unresponsive to treatments and his condition kept on deteriorating. His nervous system began shutting down and thus the doctors had to intubate him. Eventually, his heart gave way and while the doctors tried everything in their power to resuscitate him…it was to no avail.

After the boy died…doctors tried to find out what went wrong and seeing that he was expressing symptoms of a condition known as myocarditis – a condition where the heart muscles become inflamed and after testing his blood, they found THC.




This is where the prohibitionists got a boner. They saw Baby Boy + Marijuana = Death and had a near orgasmic experience.

For most people who read news articles, they don’t read it all the way to the end. The conclusion of the doctors were not conclusive and by no means did they say “cannabis killed the baby”. Rather, sensationalist news organizations used this child’s life to get more clicks for their dying medium.


So What Really Happened?

All this hogwash occurred over ‘wording’. News outlets misinterpreted the words of the doctors who wrote the report.

One particular line within the report created the kerfuffle, “As of this writing, this is the first reported pediatric death associated with cannabis exposure.”

Note, it doesn’t say that cannabis killed the baby, but rather that there was an association but not causation. This is the typical issue when it comes with reefer madness style articles – they mistake correlation with causation.

The real question is how the hell did an 11-month old baby get cannabis in his system? According to the doctors, the child was living in a dubious motel where his parents had access to other illicit substances as well as cannabis.

The doctors eventually released a statement that cleared things up;

“We are absolutely not saying that marijuana killed that child,” said Dr. Nappe, the director of medical toxicology at St. Luke’s University Health Network in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.


“You just can’t make those statements because then what happens is lay people say, ‘Oh my God, did you hear a kid died from marijuana poisoning?’ and it can be sensationalized,” criticized Noah Kaufman, a Northern Colorado emergency room physician.


Where does this leave us?

Firstly, it’s important to reiterate that cannabis continues to have a zero-death record of accomplishment. The kid died not because of cannabis but rather because he had weakened heart muscles.

The doctors only wanted to make people aware of the possibilities but by no reason meant to indicate that cannabis was the culprit.

More importantly, it should be a wake up call to parents who consume cannabis. Don’t just leave your stashes or edibles out for your kids. You don’t leave whiskey in the reach of children…you shouldn’t do that with cannabis either. It’s just common sense.

Another important factor is that we should commend the doctors for speaking up and clearing up the confusion. Sensationalistic reporting often leads to negative legislation as is evident by the “Reefer Madness Era” and for doctors to have the balls to make things right in the public eye is key.

Sadly though, the news was reported on a slew of different media outlets and of course many people will have that tidbit linger in their heads despite the correction.

Thus, the next time someone wants to point out that a baby died from cannabis…you should refer them to this article explaining how wrong they are for believing everything they read without following up with their own research.

This is something we all should learn. Don’t just believe anything you read. Fact Check! Make sure you got all the facts before forming an opinion. I just thought it proper to shed light on this tragic story.









What did you think?

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