CONTACT Death in Ferguson and THC - Dr. Christian Thurstone

We have removed the original blog post that was here discussing 18-year-old Michael Brown and marijuana. The article and our intentions were misstated and mischaracterized.

In his remarks about the tragic shooting of Michael Brown, President Obama said it best:

“Of course, it’s important to remember how all of this started. We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking tragic circumstances. He was eighteen years old, and his family will never hold Michael in their arms again, and when something like this happens, the local authorities, including the police, have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death and how they are protecting the people in their communities.
There is never an excuse for violence against police, or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting. There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights. Here in the United States of America, police should not bullying or arresting journalists who are trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.

“Put simply, we all need to hold ourselves to high standard, particularly those of us in positions of authority. I know that emotions are raw right now in Ferguson….Let’s remember that we’re all part of one American family. We are united in common values, and includes belief in equality under the law, a basic respect for public order, and the right to peaceful public protest, a reverence for the dignity of every man, woman, and child among us, and the need for accountability when it comes to our government.”

A recent development in this case, reported in the St. Louis Dispatch, was that Mr. Brown was likely under the influence of marijuana. At this time, no one can say for sure what role, if any, marijuana played in the tragedy. It’s possible that we will never know.

When emotions settle, we hope we can begin a conversation of how law enforcement, schools, health care, prevention and other systems can prevent something like this from happening again.

About Chris Thurstone

Dr. Christian Thurstone is one of about three dozen physicians in the United States who are board certified in general, child and adolescent and addictions psychiatry. He is medical director of one of Colorado’s largest youth substance-treatment programs and an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD), where he conducts research on youth substance use and addiction and serves as director of medical training for the university’s addiction psychiatry fellowship program.

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