Michael Brown: Prosecutors Argue Alleged Pot Use May Have Gotten Him Killed

The grand jury’s decision not indict former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson may have outraged many who felt otherwise about the untimely death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown on August 9. According to CNN, one of the main questions Wilson could not answer was why would an unarmed teenager who was shot at by a police officer abruptly turn around and charge toward him. That one question in particular has caused many spectator to question the validity of Wilson’s account. But now new developments have been reported.

The St. Louis County Police Department’s dominant focus on Brown’s alleged pot use was reportedly one of the biggest contributing factors for the jury’s decision. Assistant county prosecutors Kathi Alizadeh and Sheila Whirley reportedly mentioned the 18-year-old’s alleged pot use more than 40 times to grand jurors. Brown’s toxicology report revealed he had approximately “12 nanograms of active THC per milliliter” in his system, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Those findings reportedly indicated that Brown had consumed marijuana within three hours of his death. Although key witness Dorian Johnson argued that Brown had his hands up and asked the officer not to shoot, his claims were considered contradictory based on a number of facts he reportedly lied about. Johnson told authorities he and Brown had not consumed marijuana, which was later proven to be false.

While many have questioned Wilson’s account of how the altercation happened, prosecutors were reportedly able to justify the officer’s claim with extensive facts about the effects of pot usage. Reason.com reports Brown’s consumption of cannabis raises the possibility of “paranoia,” “hallucinations,” and maybe even a “psychotic episode.” So, in a nutshell, the prosecution argued that Brown’s actions were “irrational” due to his consumption of cannabis. However, the publication argues that the toxicologist’s testimony about Brown’s THC dosage is “misleading.”

Here’s the allegedly misleading discussion between Alizadeh and the toxicologist about “marijuana-induced psychosis”.


Prosecutor: Could you experience the hallucination and/or the psychosis if you had a high enough dose of THC?

Witness: If you got a high enough dose, you could have a psychotic episode into hallucinations, yes.

Prosecutor: Now, in this particular case, when you tested the blood and you got 12 nanograms per milliliter for the delta-9-THC, do you consider that a high dose?

Witness: OK—

Prosecutor: What conclusions did you make from that?

Witness: Well, you have to put things in perspective. This was a very large individual. I think he was about 300 pounds. So for concentration of 12 nanograms in a large person, that shows it was a large dose. In a small person, say like 100 pounds, to get to 12 nanograms wouldn’t take a lot. A single joint could easily do that. But when you talk about a larger body mass, just like drinking alcohol, larger persons can drink more alcohol because they have the receptacle to hold it.

Do you agree with the prosecutor’s argument? Share your thoughts.

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