Alanis Morisette never sang about weed on a wedding day, but for one Florida bride and caterer, there was some good advice that they just didn’t take.
Here’s the story, via CNN and various other media reports: 42-year-old bride Danya Shea Svoboda and 31-year-old caterer Joycelyn Montrinice Bryant “have been charged with culpable negligence, delivery of marijuana and violating Florida’s Anti-Tampering Act” stemming from a February wedding in Longwood, Florida that turned into a serious buzzkill.
According to CNN, Svoboda and Bryant have been “arrested and accused of lacing wedding food, including lasagna, with marijuana and causing several guests to become sick.”
The affidavit says that the bride “agreed to and allowed Joycelyn Montrinice Bryant to lace the food she served … with cannabis unbeknownst to the attendees, many of whom became very ill and required medical attention.”
Deputies arrived at a community clubhouse in Longwood that night to find several guests receiving medical attention.
For some, the evening was anything but enchanting.
CNN, detailing the affidavit, reported that “one woman who attended the wedding told an investigator that while she was at the hospital, she felt paranoid and ‘believed her husband … wasn’t telling her the truth about other family members,’ and that her son-in-law had died and no one was telling her.” She also said she “became loud and unruly in the emergency room and had to be given medication to calm down,” according to CNN.
Investigators and the wedding guests themselves have apparently been unable to get straight answers from the bride and groom.
CNN says that when a “a deputy asked Danya and her husband, Andrew Svoboda, if they had requested or consented to the food containing cannabis, Andrew ‘stared at (the deputy) with a blank expression for a few moments before stuttering through a ‘no.’”
One guest apparently “ told investigators that after she realized she was high, she asked Svoboda if ‘she had put marijuana in the olive oil,’” CNN reported, to which “Svoboda answered ‘yes’ and ‘acted excited.’”
But another guest, according to CNN, “said when she texted Svoboda from the hospital asking her what was happening and what she was given, the bride responded, ‘Uggg, we have no idea.’”
CNN, citing court records, reported that “both Svoboda and Bryant have bonded out of Seminole County Jail and will be arraigned in June.”
According to the Tampa-based Sammis Law Firm, Florida’s Anti-Tampering Act “covers tampering with food as well as tampering with certain types of drugs, devices, or cosmetics.”
The law firm says that the statute is not used all that often in part because “the statutory language is poorly written and fails to track the federal food anti-tampering law,” and that the “terms used in Florida’s Anti-Tampering Statute are extremely vague, leading to constitutional challenges by criminal defense attorneys.”
“Local law enforcement officers will investigate any such allegation and take swift action. These crimes can be charged as a third-degree, second-degree, or first-degree felony depending on how the tampering occurred and the harm caused,” the firm explains. “Many of these crimes are committed by juveniles because of the often impulsive nature of the offense.”
The story underscores the dangers of serving cannabis-infused food to unwitting individuals. A man in South Dakota was sentenced to 60 days in jail last month after his mother unknowingly served his cannabis-laced brownies to other senior citizens.
The man lost his job as a music teacher in a local school district over the incident, and was also ordered to pay $34,000 in court fees and serve two years’ worth of probation.
“I’m really sorry. This impacted so many in the community, and I’m sorry for that,” he said at his sentencing, as quoted by the Associated Press. “So many people got sick, and that wasn’t my intention for that to happen.”