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Pot cookie blamed in death of student who jumped from balcony

A pot cookie is blamed in the death of teen Levy Thamba Pongi in Colorado.
A pot cookie is blamed in the death of teen Levy Thamba Pongi in Colorado.

A pot cookie is being blamed in the death of a college student who apparently jumped from his hotel balcony after eating a cookie made with pot and experiencing erratic behavior, the Denver Post reported April 2.

Eating the pot cookie led to marijuana intoxication, according to an autopsy report on Levy Thamba Pongi, 19, a native of the Republic of Congo, who died on March 11 after plunging from the balcony.

The pot cookie was legally purchased by a friend of Pongi’s in one of Colorado’s legal recreational pot shops, officials said Wednesday, according to a report in the Christian Science Monitor.

The pot cookie death of Pongi marks the first time a death has been attributed to an edible marijuana product by the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner, spokeswoman Michelle Weiss-Samaras said, CBS Denver reported.

It would have been illegal for Pongi himself to have the pot cookie, authorities said. That’s because it’s illegal in Colorado for anyone under 21 to possess marijuana or to be sold recreational marijuana products. However, it appears that one of Pongi’s friends was old enough to legally purchase the pot cookie that Pongi apparently consumed. It’s not clear yet if that friend will face any charges, the Inquisitr reported.

Pongi and his friends apparently went to Colorado to obtain the pot cookie and sample marijuana products while on spring break from college in Wyoming. Pongi had started taking classes at Northwest College in Powell, Wyo., as an exchange student in January. He was studying engineering.

The friends were staying at the Holiday Inn in northeast Denver. After eating the pot cookie, Pongi’s behavior became erratic. Pongi "exhibited hostile behavior" after eating the pot cookie, including becoming aggressive and ripping items off walls, according to The Post and Courier.

His friends tried to calm Pongi down. He then went out to the hotel balcony sometime between 3 and 4 a.m. and jumped over the railing, falling to his death. It wasn’t clear how many stories he fell.

In January, Colorado became the first state in the country to allow people 21 and older to legally buy marijuana for any purpose from regulated stores.

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