Report: US woman found dead in jail may have used pot

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Published: July 29, 2015 11:41:16 AM

An initial toxicology report for a U.S. woman, who who died in a jail cell three days after her arrest during a traffic stop, raises the possibility that she may have used marijuana while in custody, two experts said.

An initial toxicology report for a U.S. woman, who who died in a jail cell three days after her arrest during a traffic stop, raises the possibility that she may have used marijuana while in custody, two experts said.

The amount of THC, one of the active components of marijuana, in Sandra 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.

Bruce Goldberger, a toxicology professor at University of Florida told the Associated Press that Bland had a ”remarkably high concentration” of THC for someone who had been in jail for three days and suggested she could have used it while in detention.

Bland, a black 28-year-old, was found dead in a Texas jail on July 13. Authorities have said Bland hanged herself in her jail cell 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 law enforcement officer.

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 he added that such a high concentration of the substance three days after stopping the drug was highly unusual.

District Attorney Elton Mathis declined to comment Monday on the toxicology report.

The attorney representing Bland’s family didn’t immediately comment.

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