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Photos: Twelve medical marijuana-related deaths cited by Denver District Attorney

keith.weatherspoon.mug.shot.205x205.jpg
Big photos below.
Last week, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey told city council members that there were "twelve homicides related directly to medical marijuana." He subsequently said the figures were "loose" and didn't all occur in MMJ facilities. But when contacted by Westword, Morrissey's office did indeed come up with a roster of twelve deaths in ten separate incidents that prosecutors believe were related to pot. Get the details about all of them below.

Some important things to note at the outset. Several of the deaths took place beyond the Denver area -- one happened in Erie, for instance. Moreover, one person took her own life, albeit after a marijuana-related matter involving a child, and another focuses on child abuse allegedly while under the influence of cannabis.

Additionally, the most recent item took place over a year ago.

Still, the events include numerous home invasions and robberies. Sometimes the would-be thieves died; other times, marijuana providers were the victims. Here's all ten.

February 17, 2007

ken.gorman.1994.jpg
Ken Gorman (center) with Dominic Mestas (far right) circa 1994.
"Someone shot and killed medical marijuana activist Ken Gorman in his west Denver home," notes the DA's office, adding, "Gorman grew marijuana plants in his home and had been robbed several times in the months before he died. The case remains unsolved."

Westword's 2010 feature article on the Gorman case is entitled "Three years after his murder, memories of Ken Gorman -- Colorado's most vocal pot activist -- have gone up in smoke."

February 11, 2009

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Keith Weatherspoon.
The DA's office writes: "Keith Weatherspoon placed his infant daughter face down on a bed and used a blanket to 'barricade' her against the wall, then left a pillow on her. He told investigators he was up late smoking weed and playing video games and was trying to take a nap but the baby would not stop crying. After covering up his daughter, he did nap and when he awoke two hours later, she was dead."

As reported by the Denver Post, Weatherspoon was charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death.

Continue for more about the twelve marijuana homicides cited by the Denver District Attorney.



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117 comments
go_murr
go_murr

Since no one has ever died from marijuana intoxication, it would be more appropriate to title this article "Death BY Attempted Robbery" (with the exception of grandma.....suicide.....and what was most likely the accidental smothering of the infant). Once again, someone.....in this case the DA.....has chosen to make the marijuana the culprit instead of the unlawful act of someone trying to take what does not belong to them. How about counting alcohol related deaths?

Bludgeon
Bludgeon

This is so bogus. There have been 0 deaths caused by marijuana. It could just as easily be said that everyone who has ever been killed or injured in a jewelry store heist is a victim of jewelry? Should we ban jewelry for the safety of all?

neal.feldman1
neal.feldman1

None of these deaths were caused by cannabis; just by cannabis prohibition.

Steven Milkowski
Steven Milkowski

What about all the deaths covered up by Big Marijuana!?! WON'T SOMEONE THING OF THE CHILDREN!?

Schittphaiç Magü
Schittphaiç Magü

Uh, unlike banks and other financial institutions, medical marijuana dispensaries and home-growers generally do not have the heavy security measures in place to deter most would-be robbers. And unlike the alcohol industry and convenience stores, medical marijuana still is not considered a "fully legitimate" business, thereby allowing the criminal element to pick up the slack. Do you know of any organized criminal activity still involved in bootlegging/moonshine? No...didn't think so. Shut up; you're dumb.

Nick McCollum
Nick McCollum

Then we need to start tearing down the alcohol walls of BS. Drunk driving death is tragic and easily identified this is just silly.

Woodstock Ross
Woodstock Ross

I heard bullets made out of MJ were used in all of the shootings... this is malarkey. How about that all the folks were dysfunctional humans and criminals? All the crimes were premeditated vs some kind of issue or lack of judgement caused by MMJ.

Betel Eli Guese
Betel Eli Guese

Cause we know how evil everything els is. Its not the peoples fault lets put the blame somewhere els.

Betel Eli Guese
Betel Eli Guese

If it was over MJ then MJ is the danger. Just like the guns. So ban the guns and MJ

Nicholas Appleseed Gnarvitsky
Nicholas Appleseed Gnarvitsky

Marijuana does not make people do dumb things, those people were already dumb. Weatherspoon blames the weed because its easier than admitting how stupid he really is. Most of the other crimes were burglaries and people being robbed. Why? Because prohibition creates criminals. Lets make gasoline illegal and see how that works out.

Latifah Abdul'laah
Latifah Abdul'laah

Wow...slant your article much? It's a reach in most of these cases, this is obvious propaganda.

Smoochie Setzke
Smoochie Setzke

How many less deaths would there have been had it still been illegal? I'm guessing the statistic would have changed very little. Good spin, but no evidence that it is the legality of the substance that caused the crimes or that had it still been illegal these crimes would not have happened.

Gil Henry
Gil Henry

This is all baloney. Mitch get real. What do you think, we're all really gullible or stupid...

Che Harness
Che Harness

sure, about as much as a group of college cheerleaders having their picture taken along University Blvd. are responsible for me running into the curb. Distractions are distracting, and will effect marijuana users like anybody else. The marijuana "high" itself doesn't make the user a danger to others on the road.

Rich Carollo
Rich Carollo

Pretty laughable and if that's the best he can do he might as well have saved his time.

rumblerod
rumblerod

Mitch get real and focus on real crime, while there were homicides most of them occurred because someone's home was being invaded or they were trying to be robbed. It's not like these people were smoking weed and then went mad and got a gun and went out looking for someone to kill...

Chad A Tet
Chad A Tet

Nothing to do with it, how about posting a compare and contrast with booze. And then at the end say, just kidding, pot killed no one.

Mark Paco Slosky
Mark Paco Slosky

Cmon Mitch!! What a bunch of baloney! What was the number of alcohol related deaths? Bet its astronomical!

xyzabc
xyzabc

Karen is breaking FEDERAL LAW's though.  I'll give you MMJ being legalized in this state.  But federal law doesn't allow dope users/growers/care givers to own firearms.  Its very clear when you fill out the federal firearms forms at a licensed gun dealer that you affirm that you are not addicted or a user of illegal substances.  The feds don't care about CO's marijuana law, the CO supreme court recently upheld that an employer can terminate an employee for using MMJ and testing positive for it on an employee drug test as "State law does not supersede federal law".  Most of these cases listed in the article show BOTH sides are breaking the law.  Drugs and firearms don't mix PERIOD.  I'd be curious to know what the average IQ of red card holders is?

audreyhatfield
audreyhatfield

Sounds to me like Karen Cordova was extending her rights by protecting herself against thugs breaking into HER home to steal her medicine! WTH?

Sylvan Perez
Sylvan Perez

By that logic, we should shut down banks and financial institutions and make money illegal. It provides too much temptation for people to commit crimes. Plus bars, liquor stores, gas stations and convenience stores. Prohibit everything that could possibly be connected to violent crime! It seems that in many cases, the marijuana was ancillary to the crime and that you might as well cite what they ate for breakfast.

mmjfreedomusa
mmjfreedomusa

 DO NOT FOOL YOURSELF! I find it hard to believe and would bet, that marijuana is not the only substance involved in these crimes. I would believe, alcohol, cocaine, meth, mental health and or pills are involved. 

Rameau Moe Vz
Rameau Moe Vz

Half of these are home grows and have nothing to do with the medical industry

Carrie Turrentine
Carrie Turrentine

No this has been a problem though for alcohol,what are the number of deaths related to alcohol??Drunk drivers,overdose,(underage overdose)and liquor store robberies??

darktower1977
darktower1977

446 people died in Colorado in 2011 as a result of drinking and driving. Not to mention the deaths that occurred via violent behavior on alcohol. 


The deaths mentioned are extremely loose in their supposed reliance on marijuana as major factor. As another poster below said, all of the deaths mentioned could be blamed on prohibition much more so than the plant usage or factor itself. 

It's just another sad attempt to discredit the plant as the arguments continue to dry up more and more, while these desperation attacks become more laughable by the day. 

neal.feldman1
neal.feldman1

@Steven Milkowski 

WTF are you ranting about?  Big Marijuana? WTF is that?

And what do children have to do with it?

stuka1
stuka1

@xyzabcMMJ and rec MJ being legal IN THIS STATE makes anyone who uses it a LAWFUL user IN THIS STATE. 

"Drugs and firearms don't mix PERIOD"

Not any more than firearms AND ALCOHOL -- A DRUG -- mix.  Fucking idiot.  

HipTip: The fact that a person uses cannabis does not mean that they are stoned out of their minds all the tie, or even ANY time. It doesn't even mean they are "stoned" at ANY time.  Cheech and Chong movies aren't reality. Thought you should know.


jordan.snyder
jordan.snyder

@xyzabc I can tell you that I'm a regular MMJ user and my IQ is at genius level, guaranteed to be higher than yours. Would you like to go on Jeopardy together and see how things shake out?

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt

@xyzabc I would be curious to know what the average IQ of pig sodomizers like you is.

wynn500
wynn500

@tlawson2 Dope Users...  I am sure by your argument above more than a few Red Card Holders are above your petty derogatory terms for legal patients. With that "I'd be curious to know what the average IQ of red card holders is?" I assuming you are ignorant, and you believe you are smarter than the majority of people living in Denver that voted for medical "dope". That sir makes me laugh.


go_murr
go_murr

@Carrie Turrentine You forgot beating your wife when your team loses the Super Bowl and you've had one too many.

adam_majkowski
adam_majkowski

@darktower1977 It is going to be very hilarious one day looking back at this crappy country after we violently revolt and fix it. For now, people are being killed, people are being tortured and it is not funny. It does not look like the drug war is going to end without a real threat of violence against our controllers by the masses. The controllers must be disposed of.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@darktower1977 Very interesting post, darktower1977. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks.

xyzabc
xyzabc

Right.........As a genius if you would have read a  little closer you would have noticed I said AVERAGE IQ.  Glad to know you're so smart you understand statistics and statistical distribution under a curve.  Now go back to pulling your bong and watching Jeopardy

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

@adam_majkowski   1-violence is not hilarious 2-if the majority of voters supported your views you wouldn't need a revolution 3-you sound like a terrorist 

jordan.snyder
jordan.snyder

@xyzabc I wasn't addressing the average, I was giving an example of a highly intelligent person who smokes regularly, which would raise the average. And so now I will address the average - as I've always worked with engineers and scientists and many other intelligent and technical types of people, I've found the majority of the more intelligent people do in fact use MJ on at least a semi-regular basis. It's a joke in many engineering companies that if they performed urine tests, nobody would have a job. And I've worked for companies all over the world so I guess I have a decent sample. The real issue is that smoking weed can be compared to drinking alcohol, because so many people do it, across so many different socioeconomic groups and different ages, races, and levels of intelligence, that trying to figure out the average IQ of weed smokers is like trying to figure out the average IQ of people who drive cars. What exactly would that number give you? If you understood statistics, you would understand the fallacy in your original "argument" in which you were obviously trying to state that people who smoke are idiots. I'm sure my comment will do nothing to dissuade your fallacious perspective, but you have your answer.

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

@adam_majkowski 

your words mr. majkowski..."You can't change this country with peaceful sit ins and petitions." "It is going to be very hilarious...after we violently revolt."   "The controllers must be disposed of."

adam_majkowski
adam_majkowski

@GuestWho I am a terrorist? Not the ones going around torturing and killing people. Me. The one who wants to stop the violence. Sounds like you have reading comprehension problems. Read my post again and see how I spelled it out for you that this is not funny and it must be stopped. You can't change this country with peaceful sit ins and petitions. You will have to get off your lazy but and do something that counts and we need to all be together. If all the victims are fighting each other as you are suggesting, then we get nowhere. This is why the northern states had to join with the scummy and dishonest southern states. If they fought each other, then England would still be in charge. Which would mean that we all would have health care right now.........

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