Woman Arrested For Small Amount Of Marijuana Dies In Jail After Guards Deny Her Prescription Medicine

Chris | InformationLiberation
Jan. 27, 2014

Buying a small amount of marijuana for medical purposes in Colorado was a virtual death sentence for a Kansas woman after she was stopped returning to her prohibitionist hometown by a Kansas officer for "suspected" speeding.

From Opposing Views:
Two sisters returning to Kansas from a trip to Colorado were pulled over on Monday for speeding. After being stopped, the Kansas police officer found a small amount of marijuana in the car. As will surely happen to many people in the near future, the sisters purchased marijuana legally in Colorado but made the mistake of bringing it across state lines.

The officer arrested the sisters, named Brenda Sewell and Joy Biggs, and put them in jail. While in jail, Sewell was unable to take her medications. She had the pills in a daily pill container rather than in their original prescription bottles. County officials say they were unable to determine what each pill was, and, because of this, could not allow Sewell to take her medications. She'd been taking medicine for hepatitis C, fibromyalgia, and thyroid problems for over a decade.

On Wednesday, after being off her medications for two days, Sewell fell ill in her jail cell. She was reportedly foaming at the mouth before passing out. Biggs and another inmate alerted authorities of the emergency while trying to revive her.

According to Biggs, jail authorities responded slowly to the emergency. Sewell was eventually transported to the hospital where she was soon pronounced dead. Her distraught family now wants to know why authorities took so long to respond to an obvious health emergency in their jail.
In 2012, on the instructions of his mother, 22-year-old Michael Saffioti turned himself in to police after missing a court date over misdemeanor marijuana charges. After police jailed him, he suffered a severe allergic reaction to dairy he was fed, he said he couldn't breathe but the jail guards accused him of "faking it." Saffioti died in his jail cell as his pleas for help were ignored.

A similar incident happened in 2011 in Florida, Eric Perez, 18, a teenager stopped for "riding his bike without a nightlight," was jailed for having marijuana. While imprisoned Perez vomited repeatedly in his cell and screamed that his head hurt. Other young inmates tried to get him help to no avail. One of the guards said he wanted to call 911 to get him medical attention, but was told not to by his supervisor. Perez eventually died in his cell after vocally suffering for six hours.
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