The tragic news of a Mother’s death has taken an unusual turn in the UK. According to reports the sole cause of death was smoking half a joint.
A mother-of-three is believed to have become the first woman in Britain to die directly from cannabis poisoning.
Gemma Moss, a 31-year-old churchgoer, collapsed in bed after smoking a cannabis cigarette that led her to have moderate to high levels of the class B drug in her system.
Tests of her vital organs found nothing wrong with them although it was suggested she might have suffered a cardiac arrest triggered by cannabis toxicity.
Miss Moss’ death was registered as cannabis toxicity and a coroner recorded a verdict of death by cannabis abuse.
Deaths directly from cannabis are highly unusual. In 2004 a 36-year-old man from Pembrokeshire became the first person in the UK to die from cannabis toxicity.
David Raynes, of the National Drug Prevention Alliance, said: “It is extremely rare and unusual for a coroner to rule death from cannabis abuse.
“In 40 years I have never come across deaths from cannabis alone. There have been cases where it has been combined with other drugs or alcohol.
“It has often been said that cannabis doesn’t cause death. Users usually pass out before they can take enough cannabis to kill them.
“This case serves as a warning that cannabis can cause immense harm.
“Cannabis is know to increase heart rate and blood pressure. Cannabis these days is designed to be much stronger than cannabis used in the sixties to meet demand of users who want a stronger hit.”
Miss Moss, a devout Christian, had frequently used cannabis during her adult life but had stopped for two years before her death last October.
She started using it again to help her sleep after becoming depressed and anxious due to breaking up with her boyfriend.
An inquest heard Miss Moss smoked half a joint a night to help get her to sleep.
Her friend, Zara Hill, said she and Miss Moss smoked about £20-worth of cannabis together in the week before her death.
Miss Hill told police that Miss Moss smoked as much as £60 pounds-worth of the drug a week, although this was disputed by her family.
On the night of October 28 2013 Miss Moss, who had two sons, Tyler, 15, and Tessiah, eight, and a daughter, went to bed after rolling a joint.
She was found unresponsive in bed the following morning by Chloe Wilkinson, the girlfriend of Miss Moss’ teenage son.
She summoned an ambulance to the flat in Boscombe, Bournemouth, Dorset, but Miss Moss was pronounced dead at the scene.
Half of a joint was found underneath her body and a wrapper containing brown and green leaves of the class B drug was discovered in her handbag.
A post mortem examination revealed that there were no obvious signs of abnormality in Miss Moss’ body.
But Dr Kudair Hussein, a pathologist, told the inquest in Bournemouth, that there were moderate to heavy levels of cannabinoids in her blood.
He said: “The physical examination and the examination of various organs including the heart and the liver showed no abnormality that could account for her death.
“The level of cannabinoids in the blood were 0.1 to 0.15 milligrams per litre, this is considered as moderate to heavy cannabis use.
“I looked through literature and it’s well known that cannabis is of very low toxicity.
“But there are reports which say cannabis can be considered as a cause of death because it can induce a cardiac arrest.”
Mr Sheriff Payne, the Bournemouth coroner, asked Dr Hussein: “You are satisfied it was the affects of cannabis that caused her death.”
Dr Hussain replied: “Yes sir.”
The Disinfonaught filing this story is probably as surprised as you are by the news. I can’t help but be drawn to the closing part of the above article which cryptically reveals:
“She suffered from depression and was on prescription drugs to try and deal with that although it would not appear she was taking them at the time of her death.”
Our thoughts are with the family as regards this tragic death but the pathologist concerned is likely aware of how questionable his analysis of its cause will be for some.