“Yes, Marijuana Does Kill- In More Ways Than You Might Think”

Posted on May 12, 2022 View all news

Jere Melo was born in Mount Shasta, CA in 1941.  He graduated from the University of California in Forestry and after his service in the United States Army began, work as a licensed forester. He moved to Fort Bragg, CA, and began a lifelong career at a local timber company.  Jere served 16 years on the Fort Bragg City council and two terms as the mayor of Fort Bragg and was an active member of the League of California Cities and chair of their Coastal Cities Issues Group.

Jere was described by Congressman Mike Thompson as “part of the fabric of the Fort Bragg community and the glue that kept all sides working together”. Councilman Mark Wheetley remembered him as “one of those people who comes in a room and everyone adores him”, and Mayor David Turner praised him as a hard-working council member who “brought civility to the council.”

Jere was a husband, father, and grandfather and from a large Italian family.  He is mourned by his family and community.

On August 30, 2011, Jere went out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon as an employee of the local timber company to “investigate” a report of an illegal trespass growing of marijuana on timberland property in Mendocino County, CA.  This area had become known as part of the infamous ‘Emerald Triangle’ where illegal and often trespass cultivation of marijuana took place.

The person who reported the grow led Jere to the suspected site, and sure enough there was a crude camp on company timberland.  Before they could engage the person or leave the site, Jere was shot in the back while turning to leave, reportedly, with an illegal automatic weapon.  While the person with him survived the attack, Jere did not.

The man who shot Jere had once been described as a normal youth, a smart likable kid. By this time though, he was well known by law enforcement for drug and alcohol use, DUIs, and rampages, and was suspected of two other murders similar to Jere’s. I learned later that many people in town were afraid of him for his “unusual”, perhaps even, bizarre behavior, and unfounded fear of “authority”.  What changed?  How did this likable youth become a serial killer?

According to Kevin Sabet Ph.D.,  there are “scientific studies indicating marijuana use is linked to cancer-causing toxins, schizophrenia, birth defects, and debilitating addiction, among other ills.” [1]

I believe that while there were likely many factors leading to this person’s ability to do what he did, a prevalent belief that “marijuana is a harmless herb” combined with the failure of law enforcement to recognize the danger this man presented led to his becoming a serial killer.

Even though I never knew this man or his family, I have suffered greatly, as have other families, from this person’s use of marijuana, drugs, and alcohol.  Yes, marijuana does kill, in more ways than you might think.

Madeleine Melo, Jere’s wife

Hear more about this crime.


[1] Smoke Screen, Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D

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