After being found guilty in a case related to butter infused with marijuana, a former corrections officer committed suicide this past weekend.
Timothy Bernhardt, along with three other Kent County officers, was criminally charged earlier in the year for making marijuana butter. All of the men held medical marijuana cards. However, the law does not really protect those who use marijuana edibles like brownies or pot butter.
Use of Marijuana Edibles leads To Arrest and a Suicide
Bernhardt had been a 22-year veteran of law enforcement. Attorney Bruce Block, who represents one of the other defendants, has said that the men were doing their best to comply with the state’s medical marijuana law, which he believes is poorly crafted.
Block stated that authorities only discovered the officers because the supplying caregiver was registered as required by law. He said the police apparently raided the caregiver, found the cards, then followed with a witch hunt. He asserted this was a case of true medical use of the drug from beginning to end.
“They were trying to follow the act. They didn’t apparently do it quite right because the law, in my opinion, has been twisted and warped,” Block said.
In other words, Bernhardt used pot butter for pain relief.
Bernhardt had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of maintaining a drug house which has a maximum penalty of 2 years behind bars. His sentencing was scheduled for December 11.
Bernhardt’s attorney, Anthony Newberg, said his family was devastated by the suicide. He felt it was very telling of Bernhardt’s character that he was proud of his career in corrections. In addition, former colleagues were waiting outside the courthouse with hugs after Bernhardt entered his guilty plea.
Reaching out on Facebook during her time of grief, Bernhardt’s wife commented about how her husband was the most honorable person she had ever met.