Kristina Ziobro’s life was changed forever when she found her 22-year-old son Michael unconscious on his bedroom floor. “I went to say goodnight to him,” Kristina recalls. “I called 911. They came and tried to revive him but he was gone.” The medical examiner found evidence of cannabis in the blood and Ziobro found medical-grade marijuana in Michael’s bedroom.
Kristina and her husband are thoroughly convinced that Michael’s death came at the hands of the high active marijuana, causing his heart to go into arrhythmia and leading to his death. “It’s crazy. People think, ‘Oh, pot can’t hurt you. It’s natural,’” said Kristin. However, despite Kristin’s beliefs, the medical examiner has stated that there’s no way to know for sure whether or not cannabis had anything to do with Michael’s sudden death.
There’s also very little medical evidence that shows what effect marijuana has on the heart. Plenty of states are moving ahead with the decriminalization of marijuana while others are making the drug completely legal outright in terms of medical and recreational use.
So far, medical marijuana is legal in 28 states despite still being illegal under federal law. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 44 percent of high school seniors say they’ve tried the drug with 8 percent smoking it daily. Dr. Michael Bostwick, a psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota says that children can become addicted to cannabis the earlier they’re introduced to it which can be dangerous.
The Ziobros claim that Michael was among those hurt by the drug but that he’d believed it to be safe. “He was such an advocate,” Kristina said. “He thought [marijuana] was wonderful. He thought it was safe. He thought it was natural and organic and it ended up killing him.” There’s actually very limited medical evidence outlining the benefits of marijuana but medical experts say that by restricting the use we’ve restricted the ability to assess its values and dangers.
“I just think people are glossing over everything that’s going on with marijuana,” Kristina said after the coroner refused to list cannabis as the cause of death on Michael’s death certificate. Dr. Junaid Shaikh, the medical examiner behind Michael’s autopsy, suggested the family is tested for any hereditary causes of cardiac arrhythmia. The family has agreed to do so, but are still speaking out on the dangers of cannabis.
Studies conducted have found medical marijuana can have higher doses of THC which can cause heart attacks. Michael ingested marijuana with THC concentrations of 28 percent and 24 percent. With the legalization of the substance comes more testing. The Ziobros are hoping that this will help others be wary of the possible dangers.
Click NEXT POST to read more stories like this and don’t forget to SHARE with your Facebook friends.