Marijuana worsens mental conditions of people with mental issues

Medical Examiner: Causeway Cannibal Not High On Bath Salts (only marijuana)
CBS, June 27, 2012 11:08 PM
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Rudy Eugene, the Causeway Cannibal who ate the face off a homeless man he attacked along the MacArthur Causeway, was apparently  not high on bath salts or any other exotic street drug at the time of the attack, according to a report released Wednesday by the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner.

The news leaves law enforcement officials wondering what drove Eugene to strip off his clothes, attack homeless man Ronald Poppo, and chew off pieces of flesh from Poppo’s face.

Speculation about the cause of Eugene’s rampage on Poppo’s face centered on drugs, specifically bath salts, after police union officials claimed an increase in bizarre behavior among people on the street using such drugs.

The much-anticipated toxicology report released by Miami-Dade Medical Examiner Dr. Bruce Hyma found marijuana in Eugene’s system, something CBS4 News had previously reported, but no evidence of  any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs, or any adulterants found in street drugs.

The report said this includes cocaine, LSD, amphetamines (Ecstasy, Meth and others), phencyclidine (PCP or Angel Dust), heroin, oxycodone, Xanax, synthetic marijuana (Spice), and many other similar compounds.

Hyma’s office specifically ruled out bath salts, a class of synthetic drugs that have been known to cause bizarre behavior and overheating of people who use them, two things that made some believe Eugene’s cannibalistic behavior could be blamed on the drugs.

“The department has also sought the assistance of an outside forensic toxicology reference laboratory, which has confirmed the absence of “bath salts,” synthetic marijuana and LSD,” the report said.

“Within the limits of current technology by both laboratories, marijuana is the only drug identified in the body of Mr. Rudy Eugene.”

The news from the medical examiner sends investigators back to square one as they look for what caused Eugene’s bizarre behavior.

A girlfriend and a friend who had seen Eugene hours before the attack said he had used marijuana, but had seen him use no other drug before traveling to the Urban Beach Weekend on Miami Beach the morning of the attack.

Eugene abandoned his car on the beach and walked back to Miami on the MacArthur Causeway, stripping off his clothes during the three-mile trip, and at one point he was spotted swinging from a lamp post.

Once on the Miami side of the causeway, he encountered Poppo where the MiamiMover crosses the causeway, in view of security cameras atop the Miami Herald building. Those cameras detailed how the naked cannibal attacked the much older Poppo, knocked him to the ground, and stripped him of his clothing.

Once overcome, Eugene chewed flesh from Poppo’s face, but a later autopsy report found he did not actually eat it.

A police officer was called to the scene by people who spotted the bizarre attack. He tried to intervene but was forced to shoot, killing Eugene and apparently striking the badly wounded Poppo.

Poppo, who was taken to Ryder Trauma Center, survived the attack but has no memory of it. His face was virtually destroyed but doctors say much of it can be repaired.

Eugene’s family and friends say they are clueless about why he attacked Poppo, claiming the former high school football player and car wash employee had never shown such violent tendencies. Many believed drugs were to blame, but with Wednesday’s report the search has begun for a new cause for one of South Florida’s most bizarre crimes.

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Ex-wife accuses snowboard champ Ross Rebagliati of smoking pot around son

By Susan Lazaruk, Postmedia News, June 20, 2012
VANCOUVER - The snow is being sprayed during divorce proceedings between the world`s first snowboarding Olympic gold medallist Ross Rebagliati and the mother of their toddler, with allegations of marijuana use in front of the child (him) and displays of courtroom histrionics (her).

Alexandra Rebagliati, 33, a Kelowna real estate agent, has accused Rebagliati -- who was briefly stripped of his 1998 Winter Olympics gold medal after famously testing positive for marijuana after the race -- of smoking pot around their three-year-old son, of whom they share custody according to an interim agreement.

Alexandra said in a filed affidavit that after the court ordered Ross not to use illegal drugs while caring for their son, the boy came home from his father`s mimicking Ross` smoking by holding his fist to his mouth and saying, ``Look, Mommy, I smoking,'' according to an online report.

Alexandra says Ross ``smokes marijuana on a daily basis'' and that it affects his mental thinking and ``presents a negative role model for the child,'' according to the custody agreement...


Columnist is deep on harms of pot---but superficial on pro-legalization

Casual attitude toward pot could be lethal
New study highlights ill-effects of marijuana use
By Jon Ferry, The Province, June 13, 2012
Last month I agreed with Vancouver pot activist Marc Emery that we needed to end drug prohibition in North America, if only because I couldn't imagine legalizing and regulating drugs would create more misery than banning them.

I also said I didn't view pot as harmless as drug crusaders like Emery, currently serving five years in a Mississippi jail on a marijuana rap, would have you believe.

Now, a major new report by the British Lung Foundation, based on a raft of medical studies, supports my view.

It warns that smoking marijuana is not only hazardous to the lungs, it can also cause everything from tuberculosis to Legionnaires' disease. It says there's stronger evidence than ever linking it to lung cancer...