Was Marijuana-Induced Psychosis a Trigger for Triple Child Murder?

Press Release – A horrific family tragedy could be the result of marijuana use by a depressed mom. The bodies of two toddlers and an infant were found.

MERRIFIELD, VA, US, April 15, 2021 — The discovery of a triple murder of three young children (ages 3, 2 and 6 months) on April 10 in Reseda, California, points to the dangers of using marijuana to self-medicate. The only suspect, the children’s mom Liliana Carrillo, struggled with post-partum depression in the past. Under the influence of her frequent marijuana use, a fact confirmed by the father, she showed symptoms of psychosis. When psychosis is coupled with drug use, the risk for extreme violence goes up significantly. Liliana is alleged to have killed her children by bludgeoning and drowning.

From what can be gleaned from the Los Angeles Times article on the murders, Liliana was experiencing some of the worst side effects of marijuana. She was reported to exhibit delusional thinking, paranoia, agitation, suicidal thoughts, and had recently lost touch with reality. Teri Miller, an ER doctor who is also a cousin of the children’s father, described to authorities that Liliana was a danger to the children and declared that when the murders occurred it was a clear psychiatric emergency.

“Post-partum depression is a real problem for some women, yet it is very unusual to result in homicide. Cannabis use is known to cause mood disorders and psychosis, so it should not be used to treat depression or any other mental illness. It is likely to exacerbate symptoms,” explains Dr. Karen Randall, ER Doctor and Co-President of Parents Opposed to Pot.

“No one should be suggesting marijuana for pregnant or postpartum women,” she warned.

Parents Opposed to Pot is tracking news reports of child abuse deaths around the U.S. and these three murders bring the tally to 260 cannabis-related child deaths just since Colorado voted to legalize recreational pot in November 2012. The ways these children died are varied: left in hot cars, trapped in fires, suffocated, abandoned, murdered, drownings, car crashes, violent abuse, or neglect. Marijuana is the #1 drug associated with children’s death, according to data collected in AZ, FL and TX. A common thread is that these deceased children, mainly infants and toddlers, were in the care of adults from whom past or present marijuana use appears to have made them incompetent or dangerous.

According to the 2020 Texas Public Health document (Reference link below), child abuse and neglect fatalities are overwhelmingly committed by a perpetrator who is either using or has a past history of marijuana use, and far surpasses the rate of such violent acts while under the influence of any other drug including alcohol.

California ushered in medical marijuana in 1996 which led to widespread recreational use prior to full recreational legalization. States that legalize marijuana see staggering use rate increases, and upwards of 30% of young adults ages 18-25 are regular users in these states. In Vermont, 39% of young adults 18-25 report using marijuana in the past month. Like many other young adults, Liliana may have used marijuana for years, perhaps occasionally at first. If she was a teen pot user, current science is telling us she would be more likely to develop both depression and schizophrenia.

“This case should be a wake-up call for all advocates against child abuse and all state child protection agencies. They need to know that parents of young children should not smoke or use marijuana, nor should pot shops be recommending it,” says Dr. Randall.

Parents Opposed to Pot is a 501c3 educational nonprofit based in northern Virginia. Contact at 773-322-7523 or visit the website, poppot.org, Facebook @poppotorg or Twitter @PoppotGroup.

Texas Public Health document link: https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/About_DFPS/Reports_and_Presentations/PEI/documents/2021/2021-03-01_FY2020_Child_Fatality_and_Near_Fatality_Annual_Report.pdf