Kim Goodman's son committed suicide unexpectedly at the age of 22, and this week she told the Washington Post that her son shot himself because he lost mental control after eating too many marijuana edibles.
"We are absolutely convinced it was the edibles that led to his death," Goodman said about her son, Luke, who shot and killed himself while alone inside a bedroom at a ski resort in Keystone, Colorado.
Luke had been known to smoke pot, but his mother claims this was the first time he had experimented with ingestible marijuana, which can take longer to kick in. On the day of the shooting, the Post reports, he had taken five pieces of marijuana candy—four peach tarts and one red velvet.
"What we're seeing with edibles is that the effect is delayed for approximately 30 minutes, depending on the person," Al Bronstein, a physician and medical director of the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, told ABC News. "People get impatient for the effect and will take more, and then the symptoms are more pronounced than what they were expecting."
As more and more states legalize the sale and use of marijuana, the challenges posed by the legality of all the ways cannabis is used has caused issues in the language used for marijuana laws.
"Though the ingenuity and swiftness with which manufactures have formulated the new edibles have been surprising, the general problem was predictable," wrote doctors Robert MacCoun and Michelle Mello in the New England Journal of Medicine. "As legalization of marijuana spreads, new adopters should ensure that their regulatory scheme for marijuana edibles is fully baked."
While there is no definitive proof that Luke's ingestion of marijuana led to his suicide, his family blames the marijuana edibles. The gun used by Luke to kill himself was legally registered in his name, and his family was aware that the weapon was on his person.