April 2, 2014

"An African exchange student plummeted to his death from a hotel balcony after eating a marijuana-infused cookie..."

"... in the first reported pot-related death in the city since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana... the Denver coroner's office said on Wednesday."
One girl in the group became ill after one bite, but when Pongi ate one of the cookies he "went off the wall" and started running around the hotel room...

"His friends were terrified, and they did try to calm him down," she said, but he leapt from the balcony.
 The headline (at the NYT) says "falls" and the first paragraph says "plummeted," but he leapt!

86 comments:

n.n said...

Psychotropic, man.

Joseph Blieu said...

What next? will they stare at the sun until they are blind?

chickenlittle said...

Diane Linkletter

rcocean said...

Which brings up the point that if MJ becomes legal, people can start suing for the injury it causes.

Think "Big Tobacco" lawsuits.

madAsHell said...

There has to be something else going on....or maybe he ate the brown acid.

chuck said...

When drugs are legal, the user is responsible for their use. In this case it is likely that the people involved did not know what they were getting into. But to be young is to experiment. Someone had to discover which were the edible mushrooms and it was probably a young person.

Still, a tragedy.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...

"Watch out for that first step. It's a doozy!"

mccullough said...

If Colorado had banned the sale of cookies, this would have never happened

Joshua Barker said...

Sounds like there may have been a bit more in that brownie... Old school money is on Angel Dust or Bath Salts... but who knows... Maybe his death will result in his "friends" rethinking their life choices... sad way to go...

Revenant said...

Sounds like the brownies were spiked with something else.

St. George said...

I wonder if he was also doing silver.

You start with pot...the next thing you know you're hoarding gold.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Ah, folks ... eating marijuana, or drinking mj tea will typically result in "body-stone" rather than "head-stone". There is some type of hysteria at work in this case.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...

Levi Thamba Pongi left his mark on Colorado.

Revenant said...

Which brings up the point that if MJ becomes legal, people can start suing for the injury it causes. Think "Big Tobacco" lawsuits.

Seems unlikely. Tobacco got sued for side-effects they had spent a lot of money denying or diminishing, e.g. the carcinogenic and addictive nature of the product.

Unless marijuana sellers start denying their product gets you high they're on the same safe ground as producers of wine and beer.

Fritz said...

If Colorado had banned the sale of cookies, this would have never happened.

Hey, there's a new fund raiser for the Girl Scouts in Colorado, Alice B. Toklas brownies!

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


No way pot produced that reaction.

Doesn't pass the smell test.

Drago said...

Pot legalized in Colorado.

African-Americans hardest hit.

CWJ said...

In what way was he an "exchange student?" What was his organization? Who were his host parents/sponsors? No mention in the article? Really? His sponsors had nothing to say? His organization?

Lazy reporting with little knowledge of actual exchange organizations. Sounds like he was just a foreign student period.

WestVirginiaRebel said...

If you come to America, don't eat the cookies...

Robert Cook said...

Sounds like fear-mongering to me. If the implication is that we should halt or re-think marijuana legalization, the corollary to that is that alcohol should be prohibited for sale or consumption because it causes countless automobile accidents, resulting in grievous injuries and fatalities. (Not to mention the crimes that are committed under the influence of booze.)

Joe said...

If there is an accident and/or death, and whatever item is being demonized is found at the scene or withing someone involved, that item caused the event.

Thus, if you have a car accident and a cell phone is found, the cell phone caused it.

Now, if someone dies and marijuana is found, marijuana caused it.

When I was a teenager, it was PCP and LSD that caused everything. (And porn and masturbation at church.)

Joe said...

Or maybe the student wanted to commit suicide and use the drugs to "give" him courage. Or was simply having one last high before death.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Sounds like there may have been a bit more in that brownie

Exactamundo. Having eaten, in the bad old days, many a pot laced brownie the idea of jumping off of a building would be totally foreign. Wrestling someone down on their way to eat the last bit of guacamole or ice cream !!! feasible.
There is something else going on.

Carnifex said...

So...I fell in the toilet the other day. I mean I slipped in the john...I mean, who gives a rats ass about semantics when a person dies. Geez.

In full disclosure, the last joint I ever had, the bastards laced it with something. I had hallucinations while driving home. Let that be a lesson,kids. Only ingest your own weed. You don't know whats in your neighbors shit.

Ps. It scared me straight. Been weed free for over 35 years now.

Anonymous said...

Some of the commenters here are clearly racists. They are examining the effects of Marijuana on the white brain, but they have no personal evidence of how it has an effect on the African brain.

They need to attend a white seminar in Wisconsin to understand that they can't possibly know how Marijuana effects the brains of African's. And if they are female, how can they possibly know how Marijuana effects the brain of a male?

Horrible!

Anonymous said...

Edibles are STRONG and it takes an hour or two to kick in. If the package says eat amount "x" as a serving, eat 1/3-1/6 of that until you've tested it out.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Drago said...

African-Americans hardest hit.

From the story, it sounds like it was the ground that was hardest hit.

Tank said...

Witness: far out dude.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...

"Hey man, hold my brownie and watch this!"

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Wasn't this a scene in Reefer Madness? I seem to remember someone (maybe female) who took one hit and jumped out a window. Probably not since no obe else mentioned it.

Unknown said...

Many years ago in Berkeley, CA I drove past the body of a young woman who had just jumped out of her apartment window. It was said that she was under the influence of LSD.

SteveR said...

No doubt pot is a lot stronger than in the "good ole days" but there seems to be more than MJ in play here.

garage mahal said...

Jumping off a balcony after eating a pot cookie has to be a first? I've never heard of a such a thing.

SGT Ted said...

"Hey man, hold my brownie and watch this!"

ROFL

Saint Croix said...

He bought the cookie legally, why would it be laced with something? And why would the ME miss it?

The autopsy showed that Pongi had a 7.2-nanogram-per-milliter level of THC, the psychoactive property in marijuana, and no other drugs or alcohol in his system, Weiss-Samaras said. Under Colorado law, a person is considered impaired at a 5-nanogram threshold of THC.

Whenever somebody has a bad reaction to pot, people always say it's "laced" with something. Maybe sometimes people just have a bad reaction to pot?

The Denver paper has more details:

Thamba consumed "marijuana cookies" and "soon thereafter exhibited hostile behavior (pulling items off the walls) and spoke erratically."

"The decedent's friends attempted to calm him down and were temporarily successful," the report states. "However, the decedent eventually reportedly jumped out of bed, went outside the hotel room, and jumped over the balcony railing."


Maybe he thought he could jump to the swimming pool? He was only four floors off the ground. A lot of people could jump that and just break an ankle.

If a drunk guy did this, I wouldn't say it was impossible. Why is it impossible? First time pot smoker, has a bad reaction, tries to do something and fails. If he tried to drive a car it would have been DWI.

Saint Croix said...

First time pot user, I should say.

Big Mike said...

The student was not African-American. He was African-African from the Republic of the Congo. I regret his loss, and regret even more the fact that the Republic of the Congo may stop sending their most promising students to such a drug-addled culture as ours.

Anonymous said...

Crazy Street Corner Guy Off His Meds Says:

I have seen brick walls melt and I have walked through the melted brick walls and there was no fire, there were no flames, it was the power of the Mind. People are rotting meat, and they are rotting their brains when their brains can do anything if they just opened their minds and accepted the Truth, I have seen it, the rot and the defeat, they think they can hide it by their fancy clothes and fancy shoes. I only have one pair of shoes but I can open a hole in the ground beneath you that will swallow you whole, you trust that the sidewalk will always be there under your feet but there will come a day when it will disappear and you will fall, the fall will seem endless because you have no soul, when your soul is gone you are always falling but never find bottom. I hope your shoes hurt.

Anonymous said...

Crazy Street Corner Guy Off His Meds Says:

The doctors keep trying to give me drugs, they want me to take their drugs and more drugs but I know what they are really trying to do, they are really trying to cut off my phone with God. They are jealous of the Words I receive and they want me to stop hearing the Words, I know what they are doing. They believe they can cut into a body and remove the sin, but you cannot remove the sin, it covers your heart like oil, and all the pills are just eating fog, they get you to eat their fog and then nothing is ever clear again, the fog and the oil and the sin, I have heard the Words. I need seventeen more cents to buy a beer.

Anonymous said...

Crazy Street Corner Guy Off His Meds Says:

You stand at the bus stop with your headphones on and listen to only what you want to hear, you think you can close off the rest of the world but you can't, the world is here regardless of where you are. Do I have to push you in front of a bus for you to see the Truth? Do I have to push you in front of a bus to get you to finally open your eyes? God is the Bus Driver, and he chooses the stops, not you, he's not just going to let you get off because you want to, he's not going to listen to your complaints because he is listening to angels. I hope He honks the horn.


Anonymous said...

Correction:

He did NOT purchase the schedule 1 drug legally.

PB Reader said...

Darwinian.

Jay Vogt said...

In happier drug news, the man who materially abetted the destruction (and in some case the loss of) lives of scores of young people was indicted in U.S. district court today.

"Mark Graziano, the owner of a landmark Des Moines pharmacy has been indicted on 16 federal charges, nearly two years after state officials declared that nearly 700,000 doses of addictive painkillers had disappeared from his store.

Mr. Graziano, the principal owner of Bauder's pharmacy on Ingersoll Avenue, appeared in U.S. District Court this afternoon to face charges, including conspiracy to distribute drugs, tax evasion and wire fraud. If he's convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison."


Here's hoping the Feds spend an inordinately long time bankrupting him, trying him, convicting him and sentencing him and that they find a particularly miserable penitentiary for him to serve a full sentence. Where by the way, I hope he lives a long, long life.


POS

I will be returning soon to my Lenten intention to surrender my worldly vengeance to God.

Trashhauler said...

To paraphrase Joe Friday of Dragnet, "I judge marijuana by the company it keeps."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Twre6ItGEI

Lyle said...

People are free to die while climbing Mount Everest.



gadfly said...

It happens every year on Spring Break but falls from hotel balconies is usually blamed on alcohol. Blame should always be shouldered by inanimate things - guns, SUVs, alcohol, broken railings, because "everybody plays the fool."

chickenlittle said...

Leap, plummet, fall...a man is dead so who cares about the operative verb?

Judging from the tone of Althouse commenters here, has anyone ruled out a belligerent drunk pushing him off the edge?

chickenlittle said...

Or better still...a belligerent drunk smoking a cigarette?

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Alcohol does this while simultaneously not helping to prevent suicides.

Is this fact relevant?

If not what is relatively relevant?

You define it: six months later your redefinition means as much now as six Millennium from now: I.e. nothingness.

Carnifex said...

Since everyone thinks its a joke...

Young Pongi's last words were, "Have you ever looked at your hand? I mean, really looked at it?"

Mark said...

Guy seeking intoxication achieves that, does stupid actions which qualify him for Darwin Awards.

Sounds like every weekend on a college campus, mostly with alcohol.

When you look at statistics, a surprising amount of college students are hurt killed every year in falls at parties. When you go out seeking to get 'wasted' you do stupid stuff.

St. George said...

Love the expression "Marijuana-Infused."

Would that be like a "Chocolate-Chip Infused Cookie" or a "Gin -nfused Martini?"

Infusion!

Bob R said...

You need a "Moral Panic" tag.

grackle said...

One girl in the group became ill after one bite …

I believe almost certainly that something other than weed was in the cookie. The link leads me only to a NYT sign-up so I am unable to read the article. Has the cookie been analyzed for other substances? Or was the death reflexively blamed on marijuana without a real investigation?

jr565 said...

"Which brings up the point that if MJ becomes legal, people can start suing for the injury it causes"
Yup.
Now the trial lawyers are going to get into it and want their cut.

jr565 said...

Saint Croix wrote:
The autopsy showed that Pongi had a 7.2-nanogram-per-milliter level of THC, the psychoactive property in marijuana, and no other drugs or alcohol in his system, Weiss-Samaras said. Under Colorado law, a person is considered impaired at a 5-nanogram threshold of THC.

Whenever somebody has a bad reaction to pot, people always say it's "laced" with something. Maybe sometimes people just have a bad reaction to pot?


Exactly. And eating pot as opposed to smoking it,you can ingest a lot more THC. But what if some people simply don't respond to THC well? It doesn't mean it was laced with something else. But, pot very often IS laced with something else.

I know that I have a problem with Rum. Whenever I drink rum I go crazy. Whereas other alcohols just make me drunk.

jr565 said...

grackle wrote:
believe almost certainly that something other than weed was in the cookie

Isn't the problem with ingesting pot versus smoking it is that there's no good way to limit the dose? Especially when its in a cookie.
It reminds me of the scene in Casino where Rob Deniro's character is talking about the problems of running a casino to another character and he looks at his blueberry muffin. His blueberry muffin has almost no blueberries in it whereas the other muffin is chock full of blueberries.
So he goes to the chef and demands that when he makes the muffins he put the exact same number of blueberries in every muffin. And the chef looks at him incredulously and says "Do you know how long that will take?" and he demands that it be done.

When it comes to pot brownies or cookies some will have a little pot, and some will be concentrated with pot.

jr565 said...

-cont- so if he flips out on pot, it may not be due to the pot being laced with anything. he may just have gotten too big a dose because his cookie was saturated with pot, while others had less.

jr565 said...

The cop who called 911 to say he was high on pot and needed an ambulance had eaten a pot brownie, as opposed to smoking pot. If you ingest pot, it can be really serious, especially if you've never done pot before.

grackle said...

Isn't the problem with ingesting pot versus smoking it is that there's no good way to limit the dose? Especially when its in a cookie … so if he flips out on pot, it may not be due to the pot being laced with anything. he may just have gotten too big a dose because his cookie was saturated with pot, while others had less.

I will concede the point that there was only marijuana in the cookie. But I don't think incidents like this should result in a return to the status quo. Freedom is not without danger.

Fen said...

The autopsy showed that Pongi had a 7.2-nanogram-per-milliter level of THC ...a person is considered impaired at a 5-nanogram threshold of THC.

How baked is 7.2 ?

rehajm said...

An African exchange student plummeted to his death from a hotel balcony after eating a marijuana-infused cookie...

Who did we give up to get him?

lemondog said...

7.2-nanogram-per-milliter level of THC

If I was looking at 'it' on a dish, what would I see, a speck, a drop...?

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

The autopsy showed that Pongi had a 7.2-nanogram-per-milliter level of THC, the psychoactive property in marijuana, and no other drugs or alcohol in his system, Weiss-Samaras said. Under Colorado law, a person is considered impaired at a 5-nanogram threshold of THC. Whenever somebody has a bad reaction to pot, people always say it's "laced" with something. Maybe sometimes people just have a bad reaction to pot?

If some people ate an orange, and one became sick after one bite and another started running around like a lunatic and leapt from a balcony, I wouldn't say "sounds like a bad reaction to citrus". I'd assume something else was going on, because oranges don't make people act like that. And neither does marijuana.

The fact that *two* people had an unusual reaction -- the other getting sick after one bite -- further undermines the "bad reaction" theory.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
The fact that *two* people had an unusual reaction -- the other getting sick after one bite -- further undermines the "bad reaction" theory.
< br>
The unusual reaction could simply be due to two people getting much more pot in their cookies than others. What was the THC content in the blood of the people having adverse reactions versus those not having adverse reactions.
People who eat pot as opposed to smoking it can sometimes get extreme reactions that aren't there when you smoke it. This guy probably never got high off of a hash brownie before, and got a particularly concentrated dose his first go round.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

I found this website about people having adverse reactions to pot brownies:
http://www.bluelight.org/vb/archive/index.php/t-609383.html
A lot of them describe it as akin to taking mushrooms or acid. Really horrible highs. And it probably doesn't happen when you smoke pot. Or, if you're careful about how much pot you put in the brownies.

As the guy with the opening story says:
"I sauted about an 8th? (sorry I'm bad at measurements I just threw a handful or two in there) of keif in with about a couple tablespoons coconut oil and a stick of unsalted real butter for about 30 minutes till the bud was lightly toasted. Then I followed the recipe on the pilsbury brownie box as normal but replaced my pot mixture for the required oil."
At the very least, if you're going to make pot brownies, learn how much pot is going into the brownies.

Matthew Sablan said...

In the Express, the free Metro paper around D.C./NoVa, I saw a callout box in an article that said, "Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is physically addictive."

I wanted to know: When did that popular belief change? I remember being taught that in the early/mid-90s.

Matthew Sablan said...

As to the cookie: As an RA, I saw people do stupid stuff while drunk and stoned. I never saw that radical a reaction out of anyone from ingesting pot, but that doesn't mean it is impossible. But, yeah. An immediate feeling of being sick for the one girl leads me to think:

1. Something else was there
2. The girl had a reaction to something else in the cookie [either an allergic reaction, a reaction due to bad sanitation/cooking, or a drug reaction -- it doesn't have to be nefarious]
3. The people who were getting bad reactions "pre-gamed" something else that caused a reaction [but I don't think that happens with pot the same way as with alcohol.]
4. There was a hell of a lot more pot there than they thought, or both the people impacted were smaller than the rest/lower tolerances.

Bruce Hayden said...

Think this is one of those hotels by the old Stapleton International Airport, replace almost two decades ago by DIA. Was by there every other two weeks when I was working in Austin, and my kid was in the Denver area throughout the mid and late 1990s.

Drove by there last month on the way to the fairly new CU Medical center, and then later that night looking for a restaurant. Came down last night for a follow up today. In any case, the hotels there have not surprisingly struggled since Stapleton was shut down. Newer ones by DIA, and nicer ones downtown. And the area to the west of Quebec St has long been the major center of the (poorer) Black community in Denver, with the usual associated crime problems. (Some wag pointed out that you can often identify such an area by the location of the a city's MLK Blvd - definitely the case in Denver).

jr565 said...

"A college student visiting Denver during spring break fell to his death after eating a marijuana cookie that his friend had legally bought in one of the city’s pot shops."
So, now it becomes a matter of a store selling a cookie that someone eats and dies shortly thereafter. Is the store doing a good job with how it measures out the pot in the cookies, or are some cookies dosed with enough pot to get you higher than a kite. I don't see how the pot shop wouldn't be liable.
If someone took Phen Phen and then keeled over and died, that drug is taken off the market and the manufacturer is sued within an inch of its life.
And Phen Phen went through a lot more trials to ascertain its safety then someone throwing pot into cookie batter and then selling the cookies.

jr565 said...

I'm not even saying that the store SHOULD be held liable. I'm just saying that it will. If you sell a product, and people die after using it, or get sick, govt is going to want to regulate that usage. You probably won't be able to buy pot cookies after this.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I don't see how the pot shop wouldn't be liable."

-- If the victim had an abnormally low tolerance, was lied to about the concentration, had a previously unknown allergy, or the cookie had been tampered with -- those are ways the shop would not be liable.

However, if they don't know how much they're putting into the cookie, that's not good if it goes to trial. Marijuanas not like sugar, I would think. You don't add to taste.

jr565 said...

-cont- or govt is going to demand that when making pot cookies you have to only put in this much pot, and must be stringent in how much pot gets in each cookie. It's going to be the Dept of Health not just regulating your rat droppings, and whether people wear gloves, but now your pot usage.

Matthew Sablan said...

The more likely thing is that it will require a dosage listed on the packaging/nutrition information, which actually seems like a decent compromise. Isn't that how they do it with proofs of alcohol?

Matthew Sablan said...

... did my last post just totally reveal my total squareness.

Strelnikov said...

I feel forced too comment. Hypothetically, of course.

Let's just say it was common practice sometime in the 70's to bake brownies containing a ratio of one clean lid to a box of mix, then divide into roughly ten pieces. A single one of these pieces would have a concentrated effect roughly equal to smoking the entire bag. And that's using the weakass Mexican shit from back then. Hypothetically.

If a hypothetical consumer was not prepped for this reaction, it could be disorienting - to say the least.

Strelnikov said...

"Pot legalized in Colorado.

African-Americans hardest hit."



Ground hardest hit.

Strelnikov said...

"One girl in the group became ill after one bite …"

This part I believe. These things taste like shit. Hypothetically.

Fernandinande said...

One must have a heart of stone to read the death of a crazy guy named "Pongi" without laughing.

Fernandinande said...

How baked is 7.2 ?

It's not.
http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/15/volunteer-pot-smokers-drive-fine-far-abo
Evans arrived with zero THC in his blood but hit 26 nanograms, more than five times the DUID cutoff, after smoking three-tenths of a gram. He nevertheless was "doing fine behind the wheel."

etc.

Anonymous said...

"I don't see how the pot shop wouldn't be liable.
If someone took Phen Phen and then keeled over and died, that drug is taken off the market and the manufacturer is sued within an inch of its life."

This is an interesting aspect no one is really talking about.

Marijuana is an illegal substance. How do you get away with putting it into your food product, selling that food product, and then not being 100% liable for anything that happens to someone after they use it?

Anyone who opens a business selling Marijuana in Colorado or in Washington State is absolutely insane. They will have their lives wrecked by the very consumers they sell to. Just give it time.

Lost My Cookies said...

Exchange student from US eaten by lion...

Lonetown said...

Sounds like a case of "reefer madness".

Thank god he didn't rape anyone on the way down.

Carnifex said...

For the people wondering why the head shop wouldn't be libel, did you not see the blue skins yesterday?