Levy Thamba Pongi, a 19-year-old exchange student studying engineering at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, reportedly jumped over a motel balcony after consuming cookies laced with marijuana. He was originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Pongi was spending spring break in Denver when the March 11 incident happened. On Wednesday, the coroner released an autopsy report stating “marijuana intoxication” as a major contribution to Pongi’s death.
The marijuana concentration found in Pongi’s system was said to be 7.2 nanograms of active THC per ml. of blood. The medical examiner’s office also stated that his body consisted of about 250 substances that are known to result in strange behavior when ingested.
According to Pongi’s friends who were interviewed by investigators, Pongi started displaying “hostile behavior” after consuming the cookies. His friends also said that he was speaking erratically and pulling objects off walls.
One of Pongi’s friends also ate the cookies, but stopped consuming them after feeling sick.
Three of Pongi’s friends were able to calm him down, but he still managed to go outside and jump over the fourth floor balcony. Authorities have ruled his death as an accident, but the investigation is still ongoing.
Colorado state laws prohibit the sale of recreational marijuana goods to consumers under the age of 21. Reports indicate that Pongi was able to get hold of the marijuana-laced cookies through a friend who was of legal age that purchased the cookies from a pot store.
Colorado is the first state in the country to permit consumers who are 21 years and older to purchase marijuana for any purpose. Julie Postlethwait, a representative for the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division, said that they are helping the police with their investigation.
During Pongi’s stay in the United States, he gained many friends in campus. The college released a statement saying that they are grieving over the young man’s death. “All of us were deeply saddened by this tragic incident and feel for his family.”
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