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Spring breaker dies in Colorado after eating pot-laced cookies

<> on April 18, 2010 in Daly City, California. Photo: Image by Getty Images

Spring breaker dies in Colorado after eating pot-laced cookies

By Phyllis Stark. CREATED Apr 2, 2014

Spring break turned deadly for a Wyoming college student who visited Denver last month, where he fell to his death after eating cookies laced with marijuana. Pot sales have been legal in Colorado since the beginning of this year.

“Levy Thamba, a 19-year-old student at Northwest College in Powell, Wyo., who was also known as Levi Thamba Pongi, fell . . . from the balcony of a Holiday Inn in northeast Denver,” according to the Denver Post. “On Wednesday, the Denver coroner said Thamba's death was caused by ‘multiple injuries due to a fall from height.’ The coroner also listed ‘marijuana intoxication’ from marijuana-infused cookies as a significant condition contributing to the death,” which was ruled an accident.
 
According to the autopsy report, “Thamba traveled to Denver with three of his friends on spring break. While here, the report says Thamba consumed ‘marijuana cookies’ and ‘soon thereafter exhibited hostile behavior (pulling items off the walls) and spoke erratically,’” the Post reports. “‘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.’”
 
Thamba and his friends were staying on the hotel's fourth floor.
 
“Michelle Weiss-Samaras, a spokeswoman for the coroner's office, said Thamba had no known physical or mental-health issues, and toxicology tests for other drugs or alcohol came back negative,” according to the Post. "We have no history of any other issues until he eats a marijuana cookie and becomes erratic and this happens," she said. "It's the one thing we have that's significant."
 
The cookies were believed to have been purchased legally in one of the state’s recreational marijuana stores.
 
“Thamba's death is the first publicized incident that authorities have linked to marijuana intoxication since legal sales of recreational marijuana to people over 21 began in Colorado in January,” the Post reports.
 
Thamba was a citizen of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa who was studying engineering in the U.S.
 
Phyllis Stark

Phyllis Stark

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Phyllis Stark is the Digital Executive Producer - National Content for Journal Broadcast Group.