Man Gets Tased and Dies After Trying to Swallow Marijuana During Police Encounter

I just can't possibly tell you emphatically enough, if you're approached by police, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO EAT YOUR STASH:

It's just chilling to watch this young man struggle for his life. The tasing certainly didn’t help either, but I'm not ready to join the ranks of commenters I've seen around the web who are calling this a murder. From what I can see, the officers did as they were trained and it's just a shame that police are now encouraged to zap anyone who struggles with them. It's unclear to me whether the tasing contributed to the choking and/or whether some of Grande's resistance was caused by his inability to breathe.

What is clear as day, however, is that Andrew Grande would still be alive today if it weren't a crime to possess marijuana. As long as police continue to arrest and criminally charge marijuana users, there will be no end to tragedies like this one. It may be easy for some to blame Grande's panic-induced actions for his death, but that's only half the story. If fear of our drug laws leads people to take such risks, then there is something wrong with our drug laws.

The leaders of the war on drugs are constantly claiming that they are only trying to help people like Andrew Grande. The drug czar upon taking office exclaimed, "we're not at war with people in this country," and he might even genuinely believe that to be true. But such assurances are worthless as long as people are so intimidated that they'd sooner risk choking to death than receive the sort of "help" our drug policy is known for.

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Drug war supporting politicians are accessories to murder

I am holding our elected "representatives" responsible for this death, and all drug war deaths of people and dogs at the hands of cops. Without the stupid (unconstitutional) laws making these vices into criminal acts, these deaths would never have happened, so any politician that supports the war on drugs is an accessory to murder by cop.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

you are soo selfish and blind

Whats wrong with you people?Legalizing marijuana will not stop stuff like this from happening.This is the proof that shows marijuana as a dangerous substance with no value.This man clearly died from marijuana consumpion,soo theres your proof that marijuana can kill you.Also legalizing pot will cause us to lose,many well respected public servents,such as police officers,prison gaurds,their funding would get cut drastically think of them!the loss of their jobs!,and those seisures they get from arresting people with marijuana,what about the homes and cars they confiscate.that will be lost as well. Marijuana is highly addictive and a gateway drug,and kills you and causes cancer. You cant just legalize that stuff!! ALOT of funding would be taken away from law enforcement.Thats NOT acceptable to most americans. My cousins are police officers who regually get big bonuses for arresting people with marijuana.Marijuana is the reason for crime rates being high,legalize and crime will skyrocket through the roof.marijuana has NO medical value at all,and besides theres more reliable stuff on the market that can be used marinol. think about this too you legalize pot.the pharmncys wont make any profit from their FDA approved drug marinol! you guys are discusting and make me sick. You dont realize the harm you'd cause to those that keep america safe from harmful stuff and crime. all you want to do is get high legaligy and that will cause commuinisim and finally death of america ,and a huge slap in the face to our founding fathers on freedom

borden's picture


I hope this is parody...

David Borden, Executive Director the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC

you are crazy as hell and

you are crazy as hell and can't spell either. Your attemping to be sarcastic but having a problem with it.

hey geuss what else is

hey geuss what else is legalized that is, highly addictive, a gateway drug, and kills yuo and causes cancer, um alcohol and this next one might not be a gateway drug but does everything else, cigaretts yeah and what do you hear about more a driver high on weed crashing a car and killing familys or drunk drivers. and watch cops when they stop people their usually drunk and acting stupid beating their wifes. not weed you smoke weed to chill out so you wont beat your wife. wow that sounds bad to me.

Great Parody

Thanks for that hysterical parody reaction (though I do wonder if the marijuana policy neophytes who may visit the site would get it) -- I think you succeeded in including every lie that the ONDCP and others have tried to perpetuate over the years...

- George

you sir, are a true idiot.

you sir, are a true idiot.


It's clear too me that the officers killed this Boy because he would not spit out his stash... My prayers go out to the victims parents and family, hopefully they fight this in court and the 2 officers lose their jobs for killing this boy... I could swallow a pound of Marijuana and I would not die nor would anyone else, but eating the bag is another story! Legalize marijuana and we would put a rest to a number of problems. Just think it's alot safer than smoking ciggs or drinking alcohol!!!!!

You have to be Kidding!

I have read the responses to this poor tragedy. Many make very good arguments. The 'parody' I hope is truly a 'parody' because it would be extremely sad to see a response in that vein that was intended to be accurate. Sadly I have received similar responses from many elected officials that prefer to keep their self interest alive and funneling dollars to their check books than to correct a long held wrong.
This death was indeed a result of draconian drug laws that are in dire need of reformation. We need our politicians to stop the insanity and get off their duffs and stand up for what their constituents, and not just those that donate vast sums for reelection, we the people, even those that choose not to vote are constituents of the 'elected' officials that are in government. Too often those politicians are only interested in the people that line their pockets and they ignore the 'common' folk.
I laugh whenever I hear media/politicians continuing to spew the trash that marijuana is such a horrible obsenity and leads to the vast corruption of our youth. You have to laugh because they are so insane to make such comments in light of the actuality experienced by so many in the 13+ states that allow for 'Medicinal Marijuana' use. It actually does help with medical problems. Even in other countries, some said to be socially ahead of our own, they are seeing or have seen the benefit of using cannabis.
I happen to live in the state where the tragedy occurred. Florida is full of insane draconian politicians that insist on keeping the status quo, not only keeping, Florida has possession laws four times stricter than the federal government. It is no wonder the victim in this tragedy chose to attempt to swallow the evidence rather than be locked away for life. My wife and I have written many times to various elected officials and the majority have been the same response. We are irrevocably opposed to legalization or medicinal use within Florida state boundaries.
I do have harsher words to describe such insanity but I prefer not to inflict you with those. Suffice to say that these people in my opinion are sadly misinformed, misguided and totally lacking in common sense.
Recently I have heard of our 'awesome' pharmaceutical system having to 'alter' an alzheimer's drug test because of 9 deaths in the trial. As for Marinol being safe, I laugh, folk have died to that as well.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased victim and anyone else that his death has affected.
A concerned citizen

Evils of MJ

Hey, you forgot, research shows that cannabis use causes black men to look at white girls. Now that is serious!

Normally I would agree....

Usually when I see these types of videos I land on the side of the "suspect" who took a completely un needed beating or died as a result of a drug raid or something. I am as suspect of the police as you can get. However in this case I have to say I think that you may be stretching to draw the conclusion that the police acted incorrectly.

It is obvious that the police in this instance did not use any force other than to try and restrain the individual to get handcuffs on him. I do believe that nobody should be arrested for marijuana, but at this point it is still against the law, and so the cops were just doing thier jobs.

He was struggling to breath, probably unable to communicate that he couldn't breath, and so his insistance that he get up could easily be interpretted as resisting arrest. That got him tazed. If you watch the video the moment that the police realized that he was in some sort of distress they stopped trying to arrest him and began trying to save his life.

It is not right, in my opinion, to villify these particular police officers. They did nothing wrong in the performance of thier duty in this case. The laws regarding marijuana are wrong, but these officers were doing nothing more than enforcing the law as it stands right now.

There is enough law enforcement corruption and ligitimate abuse by law enforcement out there right now that taking something ligitimate, even if tragic, and warping it to be something it is clearly not is not required to prove the point.

I would have to disagree

I would have to disagree with you.

I normally say that unless the person being arrest is threating harm to the officers or to bystanders then the use of a taser is unnecessary. And I understand that some people believe differently and that this might straddle that gray area between acceptable and excessive force.

Here's why this case is different. He swallowed an object (plastic bag of weed). They knew this fact. Yet they decide to tase this guy. The act of tasing is electrocuting someone causing the person's muscles to constrict thereby causing immobility. The esophagus is one long muscle. What did they think would happen when the suspect swallowed something and they decided to preform an act that would cause constriction of muscles?

they could argue that they didn't know that would happen but last time i check ignorance isn't an excuse for breaking the law. How is this not, at the very least, involuntary manslaughter?

I saw nothing that said they knew he had swallowed anything

You seem to be making an assumption here to support you claim. I watched the same video you did several times and I did not see him swallow anything, nor did I see the officers attempting to force anything out of his mouth. They were holding him down, but were not choking him from what I could see.

From what I was able to see in the video they had no idea he was choking. They had no idea he had swallowed anything. And again I say, the moment they realized he was choking on something they went from trying to arrest the guy to trying to save his life. THis is not the way abuse cases tend to unfold. Usually the intent is to cause as much pain as possible without any concern at all for the victims health.

I agree with you that tasing is far over used as a method for compliance by the police, but I just do not see anything the police did "wrong" or with intent to abuse this man.

well here's an article on

well here's an article on this event that goes into more detail than what was recorded.

excerpt from the article:

“He swallowed something,” the deputy says. Grande tries, desperately, to talk. The deputies have Grande’s right hand behind his back. He attempts to get up.

Deputies tell him to stop resisting or they will tase him, but he gets to his feet. They tase him and he immediately rips the stun gun’s prongs out of his chest.

And the video pics up right before he gets up.

Based on the article (assuming they're not miss quoting) they knew grande was swallowing something.

Again I would argue that the use of tasers, other than to prevent imminent harm to officers or bystanders, is excessive but that's another argument.

But that aside; he had something in his throat; Even if they didn't know that tasing someone while they're swallowing something would cause him to choke; They should have known something would happen.

If it's true that tasing

If it's true that tasing makes muscles constrict, and if that made it more probable that this man died, then maybe it is involuntary manslaughter. The police officers were definitely not trying to hurt him, though. If accused, the cop with the taser deserves lenience because he obviously showed later that he was trying to help the guy. However, maybe someone in a higher office can be blamed for not training officers to discern when it's safe to use a taser and when it's not. They should know by now that every time they arrest someone for drug possession that person is likely to try to swallow the stash. They should know by now not to tase people in these situations. Nobody should necessarily face charges for this. It was mostly an unfortunate tragedy that no one meant to happen. But for crying out loud, hopefully the police will take notice and learn something this time.

Brain cell research

Just watched a news story this morning on MSNBC "Morning Joe" describing research completed by several scientists on the effects of Marijuana on the brain cells of rats. The scientists hypothesized that the injections of THC directly into the rats' brains would enduce brain damage when compared to the control groups' brains. Alas! the rats receiving THC injections not only had no brain damage but they actually increased their number of brain cells by a whooping 40%. Conclusions of this research appear to indicate that not only does mj NOT harm the brain but substantially increases brain cells, as well!
It is difficult for people to acknowledge being hoodwinked by their government for most of their lives regarding the truth about cannabis but everyone has to wake up sometime...
Stop the Drug War NOW! Let the healing begin!

So THC increases the number of brain cells

That result is the very LAST thing politicians and the power behind the politicians' thrones want. They want the people dumbed down, not more intelligent. Intelligent people know when they are being duped and railroaded and cheated and stolen from, therefore politicians much prefer ruling over ignorant peasants who will obey without question any stupid law criminalizing normal human behavior that comes down the pike.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

"Normally I would agree" post is off target I'd say

Scott said it appears the officers "did as they were trained". He criticized encouraging cops to use tasers so readily, that's more of a criticism of police department's policies than of line cops, and not a vilification of anyone. If the cops knew that he had swallowed a bag, that makes their use of a taser an extremely dangerous action (as explained by "I would have to disagree" post) that may not have been necessary, if anything Scott may have gone easy on the cops involved.
The point is that this was a prohibition caused, or prohibition related if you like, tragedy. Over and over again, the reality is that cannabis is extremely unlikely to get anyone killed but the war on cannabis is quite another story.
Scott didn't vilify the officers and I won't either. But I'm not happy with anyone willing to arrest their fellow citizens for using cannabis while they use alcohol themselves. It seems like extremely hypocritical behavior. Alcohol using cops are living by the motto: do as I say, not as I do. They have a responsibility, through the organizations they belong to, to protest being given the responsibility to enforce blatantly discriminatory laws. Or else of course, they could come up with a serious justification for why it's reasonable to treat killer alcohol and cannabis in such wildly different ways.

In society today adults have

In society today adults have to make millions of important decisions, a lot of which can have a drastic effect on their lives, even death. We are responsible for our choices, and we suffer and prosper from our choices, it’s what makes each individual who they ultimately become. This is called freedom of choice, ownership of ones self. We are legally allowed to make these choices everyday, including many that can be instantly fatal such as riding recreational dirt bikes for the thrill of it, even though it could cost us our lives, its our choice to make.

By trying to force people into not consuming a natural plant we are effectively causing more harm than if we were to let each adult make their own choices and except the consequences for those choices. The harm prohibition has brought to not just our own country, but the vast majority of the world is on a remarkably large scale, and threatens our national security. By choosing to prohibit this substance, we have chosen to ignore it and to let it be controlled by the black market. This in turn has enriched criminal enterprises to the point they have the financial power to compete with their own governments on a military bases as seen in Mexico. This is a national security threat. Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, and the majority of citizens know this, this in turn creates disrespect for law enforcement thereby furthering the deterioration of our community as a whole. It is inhumane to lock a person in a cage and take away their belongings they worked for when they did nothing to harm any other individual or society. Current marijuana laws are a civil rights nightmare waiting to happen, and only makes marijuana readily available to anyone of any age. The laws are obviously bad, expensive and unyielding in accomplishments. We spend billions each year to try and stop marijuana consumption, and yet the DEA admits they would be surprised if they are even getting 1% of the drugs being transported. That’s a bad investment, and the majorities do not agree with it, and there is no justification for making marijuana illegal in the first place.

Prohibition is bad for our kids as they have complete access to it as long as its being controlled by the black market, what we need is control and regulation to minimize the exposure of drugs to young children. As long as it is illegal or decriminalized there will be a black market selling it at a marked up value because of risk, and all the harm will continue.

By legalizing marijuana we are effectively controlling its distribution, and can much better regulate its use by age limits.

Simply put, it’s a real no brainer and it will eventually happen, so if it’s not working now, and has the potential to be better why would we stay put?

Let’s not continue to turn regular tax paying citizens into tax burdens for the rest of us,
there comes a time when you have to realize a bad investment is a bad investment.

Please help us do the right thing, listen to the people of California who have bravely stood up for a positive change in our society, drugs may not bee good for us, but prohibition has proven far worse.

decriminaliztion, regularion.

i agree with you. Decriminalize it, regulate it, and tax it appropriately.

Since 1996, 20 states have enacted laws allowing for the physician-authorized use of medical marijuana. Two states have legalized the plant's broader use by adults. Several other states, including California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, have decriminalized marijuana possession offenses in recent years.

there is a proven decline in kids to get access to it in states that have decriminalized it, and with 20 states behind it, and more on the way, there is already more then enough states, to push for federal changes and decriminalize it.

In its natural form on it's own marijuana will not kill you, however aspirin and Tylenol can, the majority of FDA  approved medications can kill you.

Personal Opinions:

In my opinion it is one of the best vegetables that can treat and help with chronic long term pain, mood disorders, and it can alleviate the severity of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Attacks, and well it can cure a migraine, and assist cancer victims going through this most horrible period of time where modern medicine relies on chemo and radiation to eliminating it.

I believe Shocking someone anyone anyone with a tazer is unethical infarct shocking anyone should be illegal. it you have a heart condition or even asthma, it can kill you.

Apologies for the

Apologies for the misspellings i don't always censor everything i write


Be careful when eating the lies you are fed.

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