THOUSAND OAKS, California – A California woman is facing trial after allegedly stabbing her boyfriend 100 times and then turning the knife on her own dog. Bryn Spejcher, 32, carried out the horrific attack in May 2018 after inhaling marijuana. According to expert testimony, the violent act was a result of a “psychotic episode” induced by cannabis use. Spejcher, who had only smoked pot five to ten times in her life, claimed to have felt unwell and heard voices in her head shortly after using her boyfriend’s bong.
According to the court Spejcher grabbed three knives from the kitchen block and hurled them at her boyfriend, Chad O’Melia, before stabbing him all over his body, including fatal wounds to his heart, lungs, and vital arteries. She then proceeded to stab her own dog and repeatedly attacked herself with an eight-inch bread knife. Initially charged with second-degree murder, Spejcher’s defense attorney has argued for a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter, citing cannabis-induced psychosis as the cause of her actions.
The case has brought attention to the potential mental health risks associated with high-potency THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. Studies have shown that regular use of high-strength cannabis can increase the risk of psychosis, addiction, and a condition known as cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. While psychosis is more commonly seen in long-term, heavy cannabis users, cases like Spejcher’s highlight the potential for acute psychosis in even occasional users.
This is not the first time a violent crime has been linked to high-potency cannabis. Previous cases have seen perpetrators plead guilty to manslaughter, citing cannabis-induced intoxication as a factor that impaired their judgment. Experts warn that the increasing potency of THC in marijuana products is a cause for concern, as higher concentrations can lead to more severe mental health consequences.
Spejcher’s trial began recently, and the jury will determine whether her intoxication at the time of the attack was voluntary or involuntary. The case highlights the need for further research and awareness regarding the potential mental health risks associated with cannabis use.