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Student fell to death after eating marijuana cookie, Denver coroner says

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DENVER -- It’s the first death linked to marijuana intoxication since recreational pot became legal in the state in January.

The Denver County Coroner says pot contributed to the college student’s death last month.

Levy Thamba, 19, was a bright engineering student from the Republic of Congo in Africa.

He was visiting Denver for Spring Break with three other friends.

Investigators say the lure of legal marijuana in Colorado drew them here from Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming.

He would never return.

The Denver County Coroner says while at the Holiday Inn at Stapleton, a friend of his took a bite of a marijuana cookie. She got sick from it.

Thamba then took a bite and when he didn’t get a reaction, he ate the whole cookie.

It was the first time the group had tried pot.

Friends say he started acting erratically, got upset and sick and ran out of their room—straight over the balcony inside the hotel.

“One of the things about edibles is when you’re digesting that product, it doesn’t react as quickly as smoking marijuana does,” says Joe Hodas, Chief Marketing Officer of Dixie Elixirs and Edibles, a Denver manufacturer of marijuana-infused products.

He says that’s why their company lists the potency of the pot right on the packaging, along with how long it takes to activate.

Thamba had 7.2 nanograms of THC in his body. Colorado’s impairment level when driving is 5 nanograms.

“There is level of responsibility on the individual consumer to make sure they understand what ingesting impacts may be. So it’s important to read and educate ourselves about the products.”

It is a spring break accident that broke many hearts here in our country and 8,300 miles away in Africa.

Facebook posts mark the sad end to what could have been a long life.

One reads: “He died so young, my condolences to the family and may his soul rest in peace.”

Cause of death is an accident from “multiple injuries due to a fall from height.”
At 19, Thamba was not of legal age to consume marijuana in Colorado. You have to be 21.


  • Harold Seaward

    Simply because he had THC in his system doesn’t mean it was the cause of the fall. Was there ETOH involved? Was he jacking around with friends? Was he alone? Let’s have the rest of the story

  • Aaron Schaefer

    At present it is estimated that marijuana’s LD-50 is around 1:20,000 or 1:40,000. In layman terms this means that in order to induce death a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette. NIDA-supplied marijuana cigarettes weigh approximately .9 grams. A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response. I highly doubt this man died from thc.

    • Sheila Roney

      If you’re going to reply to posts, make sure you try to comprehend what you’re reading. The post doesn’t say he died directly from ingesting marijuana. He died from a long fall to earth.

      • Aaron Schaefer

        umm okay? I can read just fine. Yes he fell.. but due to “high levels of thc”
        Pongi had a marijuana concentration of 7.2 nanograms of active THC per milliliter in his blood, the coroner’s report said. The state limit for impaired driving cases is 5 nanograms per milliliter.
        By stating the amounts it would take to overdose, compared to the 7.2 in his system. while 5 being the legal limit.. He was hardly high to being with. yet they claim “marijuana intoxication” was a “significant condition.” It ruled the death an accident.

  • fifty280

    Great, so a Wyoming student from Congo is going to give Fox31 a chub because he ate a marijuana cookie and died. Don’t report a story if you’re not going to include all the facts.

  • Jordahn Smith

    This is ridiculous. Although I personally find recreational use of marijuana dumb and gross, I highly doubt that this guy falling to his death was a result of eating a weed cookie.

  • Michael Quintana

    I smoke marijuana and i’m proud, I’m part of an Original crowd, And if you look around these days, There seems to be a Marijuana Craze, Well i’m a toker, He’s a toker She’s a toker, If you smoke Marijuana Your a toker Too… Be a toker smoke Marijuana, , Be a toker smoke Marijuana…. ;)

  • Mike Badey

    “Concentrations vary depending on the potency of marijuana and the manner in which the drug is smoked, however, peak plasma concentrations of 100-200 ng/mL are routinely encountered. Plasma THC concentrations generally fall below 5 ng/mL less than 3 hours after smoking.” meaning that 7.2 ng/mL is practically like blowing a .09

  • Kathleen Chippi

    “Cause of death is an accident from “multiple injuries due to a fall from height.” This should be the headline. In 10,000 recorded years of human use by millions of people worldwide and ZERO deaths (cannabis has no know lethal dose) and now we are gonna blame THC?

    Was the THC synthetic (NIDA created synthetic pot, K2, spice, incense, black mambo, bath salts etc) or god’s given natural, unadulterated herb?

    Because his reaction sure sounds like the response to fake government created (NIDA made synthetic pot to make real cannabis ‘”safer”, lol) pot that turns people into flesh eating zombies or kills them or a response to sugar–the one DEADLY drug the corner did NOT test for or a combination of fake pot and sugar.

    ““New research coming out of some of America’s most respected institutions is starting to find that sugar, the way that many people are eating it today, is a toxin…..” – Dr. Sanjay Gupta

    Sugar is Addictive: According to neuroscientist Eric Styce, another expert interviewed in the 60 minutes feature, he has used MRI scans to evaluate what happens in the brain when people eat sugar.

    He discovered that sugar causes stimulation of the reward centers in the brain in a similar manner as drugs of abuse like cocaine. It shares many of the same features as drugs of abuse. People start binging on it, they crave it obsessively and lose control over their consumption.”

    ..did they test the guy for sugar? I’m willing to bet 99.9% of all people who die have well more than 7 nangrams of sugar in their blood and we don’t say sugar caused their deaths. Sugar kills 15 million people a year.

  • Anna Belle

    “Thamba had 7.2 nanograms of THC in his body. Colorado’s impairment level when driving is 5 nanograms.”

    This statement means absolutely nothing:

    The Colorado limit is just an arbitrary number made up by the panel, and is not backed up by any scientific data.
    Secondhand smoke can cause a level this high, and a regular user who has not used in days can still have a level higher than this, and not be intoxicated.

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