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Dad turns violent after eating marijuana candy from Gaia's Garden

A photo of the Karma Kandy Orange Ginger marijuana-infused candy eaten by Denver resident Richard Kirk before he shot and killed his wife.
A photo of the Karma Kandy Orange Ginger marijuana-infused candy eaten by Denver resident Richard Kirk before he shot and killed his wife.

Following the horrible face mauling of Ronald Poppo by a man deemed the "Miami Cannibal" on May 26 two years ago, there is now a new story making front page headlines after a man ate some pot candy and turned violent enough to shoot his wife dead this week. In this incident, however, the pot-infused candy was obtained from a legal Denver marijuana dispensary. And the woman who was shot and killed by her husband sought the assistance of a 911 dispatcher before it happened, according to this April 18, 2014 Associated Press report.

There are 126 medical marijuana dispensaries and shops operating in the city of Denver, according to a list of them on the Cannibist, with some operating seven days a week, offering wheelchair accessibility and accepting credit cards and even giving Veterans a discount to shop at their location. So Richard Kirk had ample places to purchase his pot candy the day he bought and ate it and then shot and killed his wife Kristine.

Fruit tarts, gummy bears, raspberry jellies and more candy options infused with marijuana are sold in these dispensaries and shops than just the Karma Kandy Orange Ginger from Gaia's Garden Edibles that Kirkland ingested prior to the shooting, Therefore providing the consumers who frequent these businesses with a wide variety of ways to ingest their prescribed drug.

Yet law enforcement are continuing to investigate whether Richard Kirk had taken other drugs prior to the shooting, which may have had an impact on his behavior and the violent tendency his wife told a dispatcher he was suddenly displaying towards the children, causing them to be afraid.

The unfortunate part of this story is the fact that Kristine Kirk was asked by her husband to get a gun from the home and to shoot him with it, most likely because he feared what he might do next, realizing something was wrong with him. She didn't do that, and he retrieved the gun himself, inevitably using it on her as she continued to plead with a police dispatcher to send help.

Law enforcement from the local community arrived after she had been shot and killed, prompting an investigation now into why it took so long for the assistance, which was desperately needed, to finally arrive at the scene when the victim had been on the phone with dispatch for 12 minutes.

In the "Miami Cannibal" case two years ago in 2012, the victim Ronald Poppo lost 50 percent of his face, and his left eye was completely destroyed after Rudy Eugene was said to have done marijuana. Now, in Denver, Colorado, three children have lost their mother after their father ate marijuana-infused candy. And the question is: Did the pot candy really cause the violence or was it due to mixing that drug product with other prescribed or illegal drugs? And what can be done to prevent a recurrence of this type of incident?

The Atlanta Crime Examiner Radell Smith has a degree in criminal justice and behavioral forensics.

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