February 21, 2023
Dear Health and Human Services Committee / Minnesota Senate:
Good Morning. Thank you all for allowing us to be here today to share our family’s story.
Unfortunately, this is a tragic story about how cannabis, a supposedly harmless plant, led to our daughter Catherine Mayberry’s death at the age of 24 on October 8th, 2022.
Catherine was a perfect kid up until age 18 – social, smart, athletic, creative, and hardworking.
- She was an honor student at Minnetonka High School.
- She worked 2 jobs as a teenager, including being a lifeguard.
- She played varsity tennis and rec softball and founded a badminton club.
- She played piano and won multiple awards for her artwork.
In 2016 at the age of 18, Catherine went off to college at the University of Minnesota and was never the same.
Over a 2-year period, Catherine began regular use of cannabis. She dropped out of college. Her personality changed, and she became increasingly withdrawn from activities, university, friends , and family. She was addicted to cannabis. She then experienced her first episode of psychosis in the fall of 2018 at the age of 20.
At that point, Catherine’s brain was permanently damaged from cannabis use. She was in a
catatonic state and was admitted to the mental health in-patient facilities at Fairview Riverside and later Regions Hospital. From this point forward, Catherine suffered from continuous auditory hallucinations, delusional thinking, slowed mental capacity, and extreme anxiety. The anti-psychotic drugs prescribed by her care team did not help. We later found out this is because they are not effective at treating cannabis-induced psychosis.
This is what our family now refers to as “Catherine’s first death.”
Over the next 4 years, Catherine changed her name to Cat. She lost all her friends. Her
prospects for college and career were gone. She lived in 24-hr staffed subsidized housing, and even menial work was too much for her, given her condition. Yet, she continued to seek out and use cannabis. The anti-psychotics didn’t work, so she turned to self-medicating with hard alcohol and increasingly harder drugs.
In October of last year, Catherine died of an accidental drug overdose from meth laced with
Fentanyl – “Catherine’s second and final death”.
My wife and I saw firsthand how cannabis destroyed our daughter’s life.
There is no doubt in my mind that this bill in its current form will harm Minnesota families and especially kids and young adults under the age of 25.
If you still believe legalization is in Minnesota’s best interest, please be honest about the
potential harms cannabis can cause, and add the following minimum guardrails to your bill.
1) Require package warnings that inform the consumer cannabis use may cause psychosis
which may be permanent.
2) Require an age limit of 25 to purchase and use cannabis.
3) Require a potency cap on the amount of THC allowed in cannabis products.
Again, thank you for allowing us to share Catherine’s story.
Trent & Jane Mayberry
Eden Prairie, MN