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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. This marks what is believed to be the first fatality related to marijuana consumption since its legalization in Colorado.
Levy Thamba Pongi, 19, an exchange student at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, fell from a fourth floor motel balcony to his death on March 11. He had eaten the pot-laced cookies with his friends before becoming very “agitated and upset,” The New York Daily News reported.
Pongi and three of his friends had travelled to Denver on their spring break to try marijuana. His friend purchased the marijuana-infused cookies legally from a recreational pot shop, according to The Chicago Tribune. After consuming the cookies, one girl in the group became sick and stopped eating. Thama, however, immediately “went off the wall.”
“He got up and just started running and hits the railing," Chief Deputy Coroner Michelle Weiss-Samaras told The New York Daily News, based on information in the autopsy report. “I'm not really sure that he knew what was going on … the kids were pretty traumatized.”
His friends attempted to calm him down, but he ran outside and jumped over the balcony railings.
The medical examiner’s office tested Pongi’s body for over 250 substances, reports The Associated Press. He tested positive only for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
The autopsy report showed that Pongi had a 7.2-nanogram-per-milliter level of THC in his body. Under law, a person is considered impaired at 5.0 nanograms.
The Associated Press reported the college made a statement regarding Pongi's death, stating “The Northwest College campus community continues to grieve after Levy's death. All of us were deeply saddened by this tragic incident and feel for his family.”