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Student fell to death after eating pot cookie

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 04:37 p.m. HST, Apr 02, 2014

DENVER » A Wyoming college student visiting Denver on spring break jumped to his death after eating a marijuana cookie that his friend legally purchased in one of Colorado's recreational pot shops, authorities said Wednesday.

An autopsy report lists marijuana intoxication as a "significant contributing factor" in the death of 19-year-old Levy Thamba Pongi, a native of the Republic of Congo who fell from a motel balcony on March 11.

It marked the first time the Denver medical examiner's office has listed a marijuana edible as a contributor to a death, said Michelle Weiss-Samaras, a spokeswoman for the office.

"We have not had that," she said.

Investigators believe Pongi and his friends came to Colorado to try marijuana, Weiss-Samaras said.

The friends told investigators that Pongi ate the cookie and "exhibited hostile behavior" that included pulling things off walls and speaking erratically, the autopsy report said.

Attempts by the three friends to calm Pongi seemed to work until he went outside and jumped over the balcony railing, according to the report.

Denver police ruled the death an accident but said their investigation remains open.

Colorado law bans the sale of recreational marijuana products to people under 21. It is also illegal for those under 21 to possess marijuana, and adults can be charged with a felony for giving it to someone under the legal age.

Authorities said one of Pongi's friends was old enough to buy the cookie from a pot shop. It was unclear whether the friend might face charges.

The medical examiner's office had Pongi's body tested for at least 250 different substances, including bath salts and synthetic marijuana, which are known to cause strange behavior. His blood tested positive only for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, according to the report.

One of Pongi's friends also tried the cookie but stopped after feeling sick, Weiss-Samaras said.

The marijuana concentration in Pongi's blood was 7.2 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood. Colorado law says juries can assume someone is driving while impaired by marijuana if their blood contains more than 5 nanograms per milliliter of the chemical.

Officials at Northwest College in Powell, Wyo., say Pongi started taking classes as an exchange student in January. He was studying engineering.

"The Northwest College campus community continues to grieve after Levy's death," the college said in a statement. "All of us were deeply saddened by this tragic incident and feel for his family."

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noheawilli wrote:
There we go, firm evidence that this stuff is bad. Come on folks lets end this drug war that will never be won.
on April 2,2014 | 07:12AM
Ezdeewilly wrote:
give me a break. This is an obvious suicide.
on April 2,2014 | 07:26AM
kispest wrote:
Suicide? BULL!!!!
on April 2,2014 | 07:28AM
Ezdeewilly wrote:
How did he get over the rail? Did the pot lift him up and throw him off the balcony?
on April 2,2014 | 07:52AM
Anonymous wrote:
Well at least with pot people are more likely to accidentally hurt themselves - whereas with alcohol people are more likely to get violent and aggressive and hurt other people.
on April 2,2014 | 08:11AM
sailfish1 wrote:
Unless he falls onto somebody down below.
on April 2,2014 | 06:00PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Been there! You are right, think nothing can harm you!
on April 2,2014 | 08:26PM
FinzyKontini wrote:
Um. Here's a quick summary of what just happened: SARCASM | | | V your head
on April 2,2014 | 07:43PM
Anonymous wrote:
There's more to this story than is in the details; how much THC was detected in the cookie that was left over? How many cookies did the guy eat, to get that much of the psychoactive ingredient into his system to affect him like that? Lots of questions, no immediate answers from the Medical examiner, the cops or anyone else; not enough information to postulate a hypothesis..........
on April 2,2014 | 09:49PM
HIE wrote:
Marijuana doesn't kill people. People falling over railings kill people.
on April 2,2014 | 08:33AM
cojef wrote:
C'mon, you are taking it right out the mouth of the "pro-gunners", "like guns do not kill people, people kill people".
on April 2,2014 | 10:39AM
kauai wrote:
Actually, it's the bullets that kill.
on April 2,2014 | 02:40PM
XlllX wrote:
on April 2,2014 | 09:16PM
2NDC wrote:
Falling in itself didn't kill him. It was that darn sudden stop. o.O
on April 2,2014 | 09:51PM
aomohoa wrote:
People don't act crazy from smoking pot. There was either more in it or there is more to the story.
on April 2,2014 | 07:46PM
ehrhornp wrote:
Wonder if anyone ever fell from a balcony after drinking too much alcohol? No, that has never happened.
on April 2,2014 | 07:19AM
Ezdeewilly wrote:
exactly. Correlation does not mean causation.
on April 2,2014 | 07:26AM
HAJAA1 wrote:
You're obviously stoned and impaired lol
on April 2,2014 | 07:32AM
Ezdeewilly wrote:
you are so funny. Sorry I forgot. Correlation does always mean causation. I'll bet you are a state champion debater
on April 2,2014 | 07:45AM
NotNasti wrote:
HAJAA1 is a master debater.
on April 2,2014 | 08:44AM
kauai wrote:
Well, there was that case last year at an off-campus UHM dorm where a male student consumed alcohol and proceeded to attempt to jump into the dorm's swimming pool from the third floor railing/walkway. He didn't make the horizontal distance to clear the pool deck and, well, it didn't end too favorably for him.
on April 2,2014 | 02:46PM
Bdpapa wrote:
I guess you've never been so stoned that anything was possible. If you haven't been to that point keep your weak crapmout of here.
on April 2,2014 | 08:28PM
Mike174 wrote:
Or: student fell to death after reading a book. Or: Student fell to death after going to the bathroom. Come on... really? Really? And I suppose the liquor lobby had nothing to do with this article being published. Wanna try to list all the deaths and beatings associated with alcohol, daily? Really? Really?
on April 2,2014 | 07:22AM
mcc wrote:
Student feel to death after drinking mother's milk. Death was attributed to too much milk.
on April 2,2014 | 08:27AM
GoldenRule wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on April 2,2014 | 09:19AM
dyw001 wrote:
From your own logic re alcohol, we should also ban alcohol.
on April 2,2014 | 12:21PM
GoldenRule wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on April 2,2014 | 03:26PM
2NDC wrote:
Yeah. Been to Utah lately? You should see some of those Mormons getting the "lots of sex". :-O
on April 2,2014 | 09:52PM
mcc wrote:
Stupid story, stupid explanation of the students accident or suicide.
on April 2,2014 | 08:25AM
false wrote:
Keep smoking so we can find out...
on April 2,2014 | 08:57AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
"Colorado student fell to death after eating pot cookie"

Did he have milk too? Are we to believe that marijuana enhances the effects of gravity?

Sadly, falling off balconies is a all too common occurrence with young people. A google search reveals over eight million hits for "fell off balcony."

In fact, a young lady at ASU in Tempe Arizona fell to her death off a balcony the same day after drinking alcohol, but that story didn't make the national news. I wonder why? http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/rooftop-fall-followed-long-night-of-partying-20140401-35vsm.html

In Sydney Australia, there were four separate balcony falls this weekend: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/man-dies-and-three-others-seriously-injured-in-separate-balcony-falls-in-sydney-and-the-central-coast/story-fni0cx4q-1226869423151

In fact, here are links to just a few other people who fell to their deaths off balconies this weekend:

And, just for good measure, here's a balcony fall from a baseball stadium, also this weekend.

I believe the take home message is that balconies are very dangerous.

on April 2,2014 | 09:06AM
cojef wrote:
Wow, better move my recumbent bike out of our balcony, lest we fall from the balcony. Been exercising half an hour 7/24 for over 10 years as yet haven't met with that phenomenon, even at my age, 88.
on April 2,2014 | 10:45AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
It's just a matter of time, my friend....
on April 2,2014 | 10:53AM
seaborn wrote:
Could they also add "stupidity" as a factor in his falling from a balcony?
on April 2,2014 | 09:31AM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
Yeah, marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, eh barry? Good example you've set for our younger generation whose indulgence in Alcohol and Drugs is already bad enough. But, I guess you're "Hip", eh?
on April 2,2014 | 12:51PM
juscasting wrote:
I believe there are more potent accessible products in Congo then Marijuana Cookies?
on April 2,2014 | 01:13PM
kauai wrote:
Somewhat related, but I hear that there are some tree-dwelling lemurs in Madagascar that purposely seek out and consume a particular type of millipeed. The millipeeds contain a toxin that causes the lemurs to hallucinate/get high/feel good/whatever.
on April 2,2014 | 02:51PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Never died from one of those but got really screwed up a couple of times.
on April 2,2014 | 08:29PM
den wrote:
bull crap.
on April 2,2014 | 02:42PM
UhhDuhh wrote:
Height kills.
on April 2,2014 | 04:14PM
Skyler wrote:
Actually, it's the hard stop @ the end that kills.
on April 2,2014 | 05:18PM
Skyler wrote:
Ok what's with the ambiguous title? "Falling" isn't the same as "jumping." Get it together.
on April 2,2014 | 05:16PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Okay, so the marijuana intoxication made him JUMP off the balcony. He was probably too high to know that he might kill himself.
on April 2,2014 | 05:59PM
sailfish1 wrote:
So who said that marijuana was harmless?
on April 2,2014 | 06:02PM
kolohepalu wrote:
Uh huh. Pot cookies are sooo dangerous to students, because they lead to way more injuries and death than say, ALCOHOL.
on April 2,2014 | 06:36PM
HD36 wrote:
That does it. No marijuana cookies for Congonese.
on April 2,2014 | 06:52PM
FinzyKontini wrote:
Congoese? Stick with Khat, brah.
on April 2,2014 | 07:42PM
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