Anti-Pot Doctor Implies Weed Contributed to Death of Cop-Shooting Victim Michael Brown

Michael Brown.
Michael Brown.

Did marijuana contribute to -- and perhaps even cause -- the death of Michael Brown, whose shooting by a police officer caused weeks of rioting in Ferguson, Missouri? That's the implication of a blog post by Dr. Christian Thurstone, an addiction specialist who's also a major player in Project SAM, a national organization fighting to prevent greater access to cannabis.

Project SAM has already distanced itself from Thurstone's post after initially hyping it, following a Twitter spat with marijuana reformers. Meanwhile, Thurstone's position echoes previous suggestions by Christine Tatum, his wife and co-blogger, that pot may have played a role in the Boston Marathon bombing and the Columbine and Aurora theater shootings.

See also: Christine Tatum: Anti-Pot Jihadist's Questions About Westword, THC Tie to Terrorism, Murder

Dr. Christian Thurstone.
Dr. Christian Thurstone.

This isn't the first time Thurstone has stirred controversy on his blog. Last year, as you'll recall, he predicted that marijuana users searching for bigger highs might start injecting THC. His latest effort, headlined "Death in Ferguson and THC," got an even bigger rise out of his critics. Here's an excerpt; note that we've included the toxicology report to which he refers at the bottom of this post.

A toxicology report strongly suggests 18-year-old Michael Brown used cannabis shortly before his Aug. 9 shooting death by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., and that he was a heavy marijuana user.

The teenager's death has sparked riots and protests and has raised very important -- and painful -- issues centered around racial disparities in law enforcement that must be discussed and addressed. Brown's death also should serve as a tragic reminder that marijuana is not harmless, that it is not just like alcohol or "safer than alcohol," that its consumption often leads to impairment that is very difficult for the public to measure -- also making it tough for the public to hold users accountable for the harm they've caused others. Marijuana users also could be vulnerable to aggression and attacks while under the drug's influence.

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This attempt to connect marijuana use to tragedy is old hat for Tatum, a former journalist who's joined Thurstone's mission to warn the populace about cannabis.

In another 2013 post, we shared Facebook items by Tatum originally circulated by weed-advocate Russ Belville, also known as Radical Russ. Here's the first, about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bomber:

Anti-Pot Doctor Implies Weed Contributed to Death of Cop-Shooting Victim Michael Brown

Belville interpreted this take as "blaming marijuana for two young men's destructive lunacy" -- something that he saw as ludicrous on its face. In his own post, he wrote: "Let's see, there are 26.1 million annual tokers, 17 million monthly tokers, and 2 million daily tokers in America. Two of them are alleged terrorists. That's literally, at best, a one-in-a-million risk."

In another Facebook-post screen capture shared by Belville,Tatum made marijuana-centric references to Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes and more.

Anti-Pot Doctor Implies Weed Contributed to Death of Cop-Shooting Victim Michael Brown

This time around, Project SAM shared a link to Thurstone's Michael Brown salvo on its Facebook page. And that's when the social-media fun started.

Continue for more about the Christian Thurstone post about marijuana and Michael Brown, including additional images.   The Marijuana Majority's Tom Angell noticed the Project SAM link and tweeted about it in this item:

Stunned responses included this one:

Before long, Kevin Sabet, one of the public faces of Project SAM, had joined the Twitter conversation. Here's some of the back-and-forth between Sabet and Angell.

We should point out that there's currently a disclaimer on Thurstone's blog post, as well. It reads: "Dr. Christian Thurstone's views are his own and do not represent the views of any organizations with which he is affiliated."

There's no time-stamp on the disclaimer revealing whether it was in place before or after Angell brought up the issue. But we've got a guess....

Meanwhile, Angell wasn't placated by the comment Project SAM posted on the original link. He tweeted:

To that, Sabet wrote:

An hour or so after this exchange, however, a check of Project SAM's public Facebook page showed no trace of Thurstone's item. And when Sabet tweeted a direct refutation of the Michael Brown-killed-by-pot theory, Tatum responded with apparent frustration at Thurstone having been misinterpreted. Here's that exchange:

Awk-ward. Here's Brown's toxicology report.

Michael Brown Toxicology Report

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.


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