Columbia, SC —Richland County authorities recently revealed that a man died after trying to swallow bags of cannabis to avoid criminal charges for possessing them.
According to a review from the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, his death was due to “subsequent cardiac arrest which resulted in diffuse anoxic brain injury.”
According to the official narrative, Zachary McDaniels was caught stealing a car from a shopping center. The Richland County Sheriff’s Office said McDaniels and another man fled on foot after being pulled over in the stolen car.
They were caught and arrested, but when he was in custody, he started having trouble breathing. The sheriff’s office says EMS workers arrived and tried to remove the bags from his airway, but to no avail.
He “managed to ingest four other bags of marijuana before the fifth became stuck,” according to an autopsy at the hospital. He ended up brain dead from the asphyxiation and his family eventually took him off life support on September 6th. He died shortly after.
Apparently, the difficult circumstances the criminal justice system forces cannabis users into are more dangerous than cannabis itself.
Every day — where cannabis is still illegal — people are incarcerated, fined, and threatened by the state for possessing or consuming it. Nevertheless, activist efforts to legalize cannabis have culminated in full recreational legalization in multiple states, with others in the process repealing prohibition on the plant.
This man’s attempted disposal of cannabis to avoid incarceration in the not-so-cannabis-friendly state of South Carolina cost him his life.