A Lynchburg teenager’s death is putting a renewed focus on the effects of marijuana.
Last week we learned that Jamisha Gilbert had a small amount of the drug in her system when she died last November.
Lynchburg's top prosecutor is now using her death as a cautionary tale for other teens.
Marijuana itself didn't kill her, but prosecutors believe it may have caused her to do irrational things that eventually led to her death.
People who want to decriminalize marijuana say this situation could have been avoided if the drug was legal and highly regulated.
The circumstances surrounding Jamisha Gilbert's death are difficult for Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Doucette to explain.
"We're trying to make sense out of something that's senseless," Doucette said.
Gilbert was found naked in the woods behind a cemetery last December.
After wrecking her car on Concord Turnpike, she apparently took off running, shedding clothes along the way. Outside temperatures were below freezing, causing Gilbert to die of hypothermia.
As Lynchburg's Commonwealth's Attorney, it was Doucette's job to examine the situation and decide whether a crime was committed.
Ultimately, he concluded that Gilbert died as a result of her own actions, and that marijuana may have played a role.
"It is uncommon, but in some people there is a psychoactive component to THC that can lead to psychosis,” Doucette said.
Gilbert was suffering from mental health issues, possibly caused by a fight within her family. Although he can't be certain, Doucette believes marijuana may have magnified Gilbert's problems.
He says he's not trying to create hysteria around the drug, but he wants other teens to realize that using marijuana is risky.
"Be aware that there are consequences to engaging in risky behavior,” Doucette said.