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.