While most people agree that Sandra Bland shouldn’t have been in jail in the first place, several questions still remain about the events leading up to and after her death.
Now, the toxicology report for the 28-year-old Black woman who died in police custody on July 13 reveals that she was either smoking copious amounts of weed, or something even more fishy.
Reports the Associated Press:
The amount of THC, one of the active components of marijuana, in Bland’s system was 18 micrograms per liter, according to the report released Monday. That’s more than three times the legal limit for drivers in Colorado and Washington, states that permit the recreational use of marijuana.
“I don’t think it’s possible to rule out the possibility of use while in jail,” said University of Florida toxicology professor Bruce Goldberger, who reviewed the report for The Associated Press. Bland was impaired by marijuana at the time of her death, Goldberger said.
Bland, a black 28-year-old from suburban Chicago, was found dead in the Waller County jail on July 13. Authorities have said Bland hanged herself with a garbage bag, a finding that her family disputes. She was in custody after a traffic stop for failing to use a turn signal escalated into a physical confrontation with a white state trooper.
Robert Johnson, chief toxicologist at the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office in Fort Worth, Texas, told the AP that a THC level as high as Bland’s suggests she “either had access to the drug in jail or she was a consistent user of the drug and her body had accumulated THC to the point that it was slowly releasing it over time.”
But, Johnson added, “I have never seen a report in the literature or from any other source of residual THC that high three days after someone stops using the drug.”
Goldberger, who is also the president of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology, said Bland had a “remarkably high concentration” of THC for someone who had been in jail for three days.
He noted that while chronic users who stop using the drug will have higher concentrations than non- chronic users, “the concentrations do not persist at this level, at least in my opinion.” He defined chronic as someone who uses cannabis daily, sometimes repeatedly.
Sandra Bland was recently laid to rest in Illinois. This case, however, is still very much alive.
Photo: Waller County Jail Video