St. John the Baptist Coroner Dr. Christy Montegut from Louisiana stands by his report that the death of the unnamed 39-year-old woman whom he examined last month was caused by a THC overdose.
Montegut provided a statement to The Advocate saying, “I’m thinking this lady must have vaped this THC oil and got a high level in her system and it made her stop breathing, like a respiratory failure.”
Keith Humphreys, a former senior policy adviser at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, told The Advocate: “We know from really good survey data that Americans use cannabis products billions of times a year, collectively. Not millions of times, but billions of times a year.”
He added: “So, that means that if the risk of death was one in a million, we would have a couple of thousand cannabis overdose deaths a year. Let’s assume (that the woman died from THC) is a fact. What do you conclude from that? It doesn’t justify really anything from a policy viewpoint. It’s just so incredibly unlikely.”
Dr. Noah Kaufman, who practices in Colorado, had something to say about the report by Dr. Montegut:
"THC is becoming so powerful these days that we are kind of playing with fire a little bit, and there may be more and more and more people that start to have some kind of an adverse reaction. Everything looked above board, and the only thing they found was the THC in the blood and so they made an association."
Despite the opinion of other experts, Montegut stands by his initial report. In an interview with WWLT, he said that he is 100 percent sure of the readings they found.
"At high levels, marijuana can cause respiratory depression, which means a decrease in breathing, and if it's a high enough level it can make you stop breathing," Montegut said.
"I'm 100 percent sure of the readings we've found. I definitely did some research before I came to the conclusion that this was the cause of death," he added.