A french study using cannabis-based painkillers has gone horribly wrong, leaving four people in the hospital and one individual brain dead.

The Portugese lab Bial produced the painkiller and the trial was being run by UK research company Biotrial. There were a total of 90 people who took this drug while others were given a placebo.

French Health Minister Marisol Touraine  said that, “A serious accident took place during a therapeutic trial near Rennes.”

This drug was only in Phase 1 testing, healthy individuals were given the drug in order to see if it would be safe for consumers to ingest. This phase is where safety issues are usually revealed. Lecturer in clinical pharmacology at the University of Liverpool, Daniel Hawcutt, says “Undertaking Phase 1 studies is highly specialized work.”

According to the research company that conducted this trial, all standard protocols were followed and adhered to.

Biotrial’s press release stated the following, “During (…) a study which was being conducted for a sponsor, serious adverse events related to the test drug have occurred in some subjects. The trial has been conducted in full compliance with the international regulations and Biotrial’s procedures were followed at every stage throughout the trial, in particular the emergency procedures for the transfer of subjects to the hospital. We are in close and regular contact with the Health Authorities and Ministry in France. The priority at Biotrial remains the safety of our subjects.”

It is not yet known what role cannabis played, but it should be noted that in it’s natural form cannabis has never caused any side effects like this. Those who morally oppose cannabis will surely use this as an example of why it shouldn’t be legalized.