A 19-year-old teenager from Colorado died after consuming cookies containing edible marijuana and afterwards jumping off a fourth-story balcony. After reviewing his case CDC (the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) made a report recommending that marijuana edibles should have limited portion sizes in accordance with dosage guidelines.
The teenager ate a cookie which contained six servings of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. He got the cookie from a 23-year-old friend who bought it from a store. It seems that the clerk at the store advised him to divide the item into six pieces, meaning that each piece would contain the serving size recommended by Colorado authorities, meaning 10 mg of THC.
In the beginning the teenager ate the recommended portion of the cookie, but after 30-60 minutes he decided to eat the whole cookie because he did not feel any effects. In the hours that followed the adolescent talked inconsistently and displayed a hostile behavior. After two and a half hours from after he consumed the whole cookie he jumped of a balcony which was on the fourth floor of the building. In the case of edible marijuana it takes longer before the effects are felt in comparison with smoking.
The boy was identified as Levy Thamba Pongi. He was an exchange student from the Republic of Congo who visited Denver in March 2014. Officials established that marijuana intoxication was the main cause which led to his death. The teenager did not have any history of illegal drug use, alcohol abuse or mental illness.
CDC says that all states which allow the recreational use of marijuana should introduce labels and clear guidelines for marijuana edibles. States where recreational marijuana is legal include Colorado, Washington, Oregon, the District of Columbia and Alaska. On February 1, 2015 Colorado introduced new rules for packaging and labeling of marijuana edibles. Now the products have individual labels and do not contain more than 10 mg of HTC.
The CDC report says that 45 percent of Colorado’s marijuana sales consist of edible marijuana, be it drinks or food products. Marijuana is the second most popular recreational drug after alcohol in the US. CDC says that 19.8 million people reported that they have used marijuana in the past month.
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