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Colorado Deaths Stoke Worries About Pot Edibles
Denver CBS local ^ | 4/18/14 | gurman

Posted on 04/20/2014 6:04:41 PM PDT by mgist

DENVER – A college student eats more than the recommended dose of a marijuana-laced cookie and jumps to his death from a hotel balcony. A husband with no history of violence is accused of shooting his wife in the head, possibly after eating pot-infused candy. The two recent deaths have stoked concerns about Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry and the effects of the drug, especially since cookies, candy and other pot edibles can be exponentially more potent than a joint.

“We’re seeing hallucinations, they become sick to their stomachs, they throw up, they become dizzy and very anxious,” said Al Bronstein, medical director of the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center. Studies are mixed about whether there is any link between marijuana and violence. Still, pot legalization opponents said the deaths are a sign of future dangers.

Twenty-six people have reported poisonings from marijuana edibles this year, when the center started tracking such exposures. Six were children who swallowed innocent-looking edibles, most of which were in plain sight.

Five of those kids were sent to emergency rooms, and two to hospitals for intensive care, Bronstein said. Children were nauseous and sleepy, and doctors worried about their respiratory systems shutting down. Supporters of the pot law and some experts counter that alcohol causes far more problems among users, and the issues with pot can be largely addressed through better regulations.

The deaths occurred as Colorado lawmakers are scrambling to create safety regulations for the largely unmonitored marijuana snacks. On Thursday, the Legislature advanced a package of bills that would lower the amount of THC that could be permitted in a serving of food and require more extensive warning labels.

“It really is time for regulators, and the industry, to look at how do we move forward more responsibly with edible products,” said Brian Vicente, who helped lead the state’s legalization campaign.

An autopsy report listed marijuana intoxication as a significant contributing factor in the death of 19-year-old Levy Thamba Pongi. Authorities said Pongi, who traveled from Wyoming to Denver with friends to try marijuana, ate six times more than the amount recommended by a seller. In the moments before his death, he spoke erratically and threw things around his hotel room.

RELATED: College Student Ate 6 Times Recommended Amount Of Pot Cookie Before Jumping To Death

Toxicologists later found that the cookie Pongi ate contained as much THC – marijuana’s intoxicating chemical – as six high-quality joints.

Kristine Kirk, left, and Richard Kirk, right

Less is known about Richard Kirk, 47, who was charged in Denver with shooting his 44-year-old wife, Kristine, to death while she was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher. Police said his wife reported that her husband had consumed marijuana-laced candy, but no information has been released about potency. The public defender’s office has declined comment on the allegations against Kirk.

RELATED: Husband Charged With Murder In Wife’s Shooting Death “Sadly, we’re going to start to understand over time all of the damage and all of the problems associated with marijuana,” said Thornton police Sgt. Jim Gerhardt, speaking in his capacity as a board member of the Colorado Drug Investigators Association. “It’s going to dispel the myth that there’s no downside, that there’s no side effect, to this drug. It’s sad that people are going to have to be convinced with the blood of Coloradans.”

State lawmakers last year required edible pot to be sold in “serving sizes” of 10 milligrams of THC. Lawmakers also charged marijuana regulators with setting potency-testing guidelines to ensure consumers know how much pot they’re eating. The guidelines are slated to be unveiled next month.

For now, the industry is trying to educate consumers about the strength of pot-infused foods and warning them to wait up to an hour to feel any effects before eating more. Still, complaints from visitors and first-time users have been rampant.

“One of the problems is people become very impatient,” Bronstein said. “They eat a brownie or a chocolate chip cookie and they get no effect, so then they stack the doses, and all the sudden, they get an extreme effect that they weren’t expecting.”

Last year, the poison center run by Bronstein received 126 calls concerning adverse reactions to marijuana. So far this year – after pot sales became legal on Jan. 1 – the center has gotten 65 calls. Bronstein attributed the spike to the higher concentrations of THC in marijuana that has become available.

Although millions of Americans have used pot without becoming violent, Bronstein said such behavior is possible depending on the type of hallucinations a user experiences. Toxicologists say genetic makeup, health issues and other factors also can make a difference. “With these products, everybody is inexperienced,” Bronstein said. “It’s the first time people have been able to buy it in a store. People need to be respectful of these products.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: colorado; dopeheads; druglegalization; libertarians; marijuana; medicalmarijuana; potheads; refermadness; substanceabuse; wod; wosd
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1 posted on 04/20/2014 6:04:41 PM PDT by mgist
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To: mgist

I suppose pot isn’t as non-dangerous as the potheads wanted people to believe.


2 posted on 04/20/2014 6:08:21 PM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel (Have a wonderful day!)
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To: mgist

In Progressive speak it is: “Acceptable collateral damage”. This term is also applicable to women’s deaths during abortions, lost health care insurance, puppies shot by police, etc.


3 posted on 04/20/2014 6:08:32 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (FDR & Obama "brain trusts" ... Ivy League Professors, Progressive elite, & common criminals.)
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To: mgist

“we’re seeing hallucinations...”

No shit, buckwheat. pot is a hallucinogen.

CC


4 posted on 04/20/2014 6:16:36 PM PDT by Celtic Conservative (tease not the dragon for thou art crunchy when roasted and taste good with ketchup)
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To: mgist
Twenty-six people have reported poisonings from marijuana edibles this year, when the center started tracking such exposures. Six were children who swallowed innocent-looking edibles, most of which were in plain sight.

And it's only April.

5 posted on 04/20/2014 6:17:32 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (Don't be afraid to see what you see. -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: mgist

Also gotta wonder what the motor vehicle related deaths will add up to.


6 posted on 04/20/2014 6:18:20 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (Don't be afraid to see what you see. -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: mgist

With all the pot heads in Colo., how many are on the roads driving? Remind me not to drive in Colo. anytime soon.


7 posted on 04/20/2014 6:20:55 PM PDT by Signalman
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To: mgist

So smoking cigarettes is evil.

But smoking weed is healthy.

Do I have it correct?


8 posted on 04/20/2014 6:22:12 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: prairiebreeze
Colorado passed this law. They can repeal it.

/johnny

9 posted on 04/20/2014 6:23:23 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: driftdiver

Indeed you do. Funny how that works, eh?


10 posted on 04/20/2014 6:24:21 PM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear (Great vid by ShorelineMike! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOZjJk6nbD4&feature=plcp)
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To: MIchaelTArchangel

Interesting. I remember stories of people “hallucinating” when they ate pot. This was many years ago — 3 plus decades.

Maybe there is some truth to the “myth” and by eating it, you can consume more and maybe the stomach digestive acids change it properties. Or maybe there are other chemicals that are neutralized by burning pot but are potent when eaten.


11 posted on 04/20/2014 6:24:50 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: Signalman
Lol. We live in Colorado.
12 posted on 04/20/2014 6:25:36 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: mgist

Supporters of the pot law and some experts counter that alcohol causes far more problems among users, and the issues with pot can be largely addressed through better regulations.


Alcohol is regulated as well. So their rationale is compound the problem with regulating pot when they readily admit that the current regs do not work. Unbelievable!!!

Sanity is becoming a rare commodity.


13 posted on 04/20/2014 6:25:39 PM PDT by Know et al (No one has ever choked to death on a raw oyster.)
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To: driftdiver
I'll stick with my tobacco.

/johnny

14 posted on 04/20/2014 6:26:11 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: dhs12345

It ruined Reverend Jim.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACF4XDznGEs


15 posted on 04/20/2014 6:26:57 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: mgist

And they say pot is only supposed to relax you? Well, not all the time.


16 posted on 04/20/2014 6:27:26 PM PDT by Telepathic Intruder (The only thing the Left has learned from the failures of socialism is not to call it that)
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To: driftdiver

Pot is an ‘ambition killer’. Tobacco is a stimulant. Anything to make us more ‘non-productive’.


17 posted on 04/20/2014 6:27:30 PM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear (Great vid by ShorelineMike! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOZjJk6nbD4&feature=plcp)
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To: mgist

They voted for it,they got it.

.


18 posted on 04/20/2014 6:27:44 PM PDT by Mears
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To: mgist
If it weren't for the innocent victims, I'd say that Colorado deserves a special Darwin award.


19 posted on 04/20/2014 6:28:29 PM PDT by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: Mears
Yep. And they can repeal it the same way.

/johnny

20 posted on 04/20/2014 6:29:11 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: driftdiver
Yup. Weed actually heals the damage caused by cigarettes. Lol. Someone actually said this.

What is scary is that these same frickin lies are being told to our kids as a way to encourage them to use.

21 posted on 04/20/2014 6:30:59 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: Mears

Hey, we didn’t vote for it!


22 posted on 04/20/2014 6:31:34 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: driftdiver

Smoking pole is also condoned.


23 posted on 04/20/2014 6:31:47 PM PDT by mylife
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To: dfwgator

Yup. Even though it was a joke, there was a lot of truth to it.


24 posted on 04/20/2014 6:32:46 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: mgist
I think that it is time to give this word a rest:

"...can be exponentially more potent than a joint.

25 posted on 04/20/2014 6:33:45 PM PDT by Inyo-Mono (NRA)
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To: mgist

What comes first the dope or the dope?


26 posted on 04/20/2014 6:35:56 PM PDT by Proud2BeRight
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To: MIchaelTArchangel

Alcohol is fine in moderation, but we don’t want to bring up all the deaths by self inflicted alcohol poisoning now do we? Water is great for you, in fact needed. But (as we learned not too long ago) you can kill yourself with it as well. Maybe we should outlaw more substances for the greater good, comrade. I hear some kids at my school are allergic to peanuts. Need to ban them; oh wait, they did because the kids at risk are too damn stoopid to be educated by their parents. Point is, people are going to do stupid things; I don’t want my liberties infringed en masse because of others poor decisions (hold THEM accountable, NOT me) no matter what I choose to partake just so long as I don’t hurt or otherwise damage another citizens rights or liberties. You need to re-focus on personal responsiblity as does this society and quit punishing society through a politician because we can’t hold the offender accountable.


27 posted on 04/20/2014 6:36:05 PM PDT by Ghost of SVR4 (So many are so hopelessly dependent on the government that they will fight to protect it.)
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To: Inyo-Mono

Absolutely!
;^)


28 posted on 04/20/2014 6:37:40 PM PDT by tumblindice (to hell with the US Chamber of Commerce)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I was just wondering if Colorado voters are rethinking their votes.


29 posted on 04/20/2014 6:37:55 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: Ditter
It will be interesting to watch. I wonder how many alcohol related deaths there have been in CO so far this year?

/johnny

30 posted on 04/20/2014 6:39:01 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: RushIsMyTeddyBear

Apparently the legalization of pot hasn’t reduced the illegal pot from Mexico. Guess we know why the drug dealers were so supportive of the move.


31 posted on 04/20/2014 6:39:10 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Too much revenue to give up, I’d wager. Besides, the Taxifornians have taken over there big time.

Time will tell.


32 posted on 04/20/2014 6:40:59 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (Don't be afraid to see what you see. -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: dhs12345

Follow the (tax) money. Alcohol is ‘evil’ so they tax it. Tobacco is ‘wicked’ and it gets a slap tax. Pot is ‘holy smoke’ and they tax that too. LIEberalism is a religion full of ironic, moronic hyper critics.


33 posted on 04/20/2014 6:41:28 PM PDT by tflabo (Truth or Tyranny)
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To: Ghost of SVR4

The doctors say pot use causes changes to the brain. In other words there is scientific evidence that pot causes brain damage with even light use.

Not only that but it effects the DNA which results in changes to offspring.

Not to mention the drug lords and corruption this is increasing.


34 posted on 04/20/2014 6:42:48 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: RushIsMyTeddyBear

Look what thousands of years of Cannabis use did for the Hindus and Arabs, while Western Civilization was refusing to use it as an intoxicant, and was very much involved with alcohol (and advancing).


35 posted on 04/20/2014 6:42:51 PM PDT by ansel12 ((Libertarianism offers the transitory concepts and dialogue to move from conservatism, to liberalism)
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To: mgist

There’s an old saying where I live—”Let other people do your experimenting for you.” Colorado is an experiment and we’re beginning to see some results.


36 posted on 04/20/2014 6:43:00 PM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: mgist

But hey, guns in the home are dangerous so let’s ban and confiscate them


37 posted on 04/20/2014 6:43:07 PM PDT by A_Former_Democrat (Hey 2008, we told you so)
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To: mgist
"Supporters of the pot law and some experts counter that alcohol causes far more problems among users,..."

More potheads get drunk to reduce their paranoia.


38 posted on 04/20/2014 6:43:49 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of corruption smelled around the planet.)
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To: tflabo

They tax booze because they can and it raises a LOT of money.


39 posted on 04/20/2014 6:44:13 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: mgist

Do pot edibles give one The Munchies?


40 posted on 04/20/2014 6:44:44 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; We need a second party!)
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To: mgist

That house looks like the Ramsey house. Where the kid went missing and was found dead, possibly by the parents hand. Haunted house oddity?


41 posted on 04/20/2014 6:44:53 PM PDT by 9422WMR (: " Tolerance is the virtue of a man who has no convictions".)
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To: mgist

Potheads often demand gun control, because it’s illegal for them to possess firearms.


42 posted on 04/20/2014 6:46:11 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of corruption smelled around the planet.)
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To: driftdiver

They don’t care if it causes brain damage. It’s invisible to the user for the most part. The rest of us suffer, but the user doesn’t give a damn. They get off on it and that’s all and I mean ALL that matters in life for them. The lies and justifications and utter insanity flow from the use quickly.

Alcohol isn’t good for you, but it just doesn’t screw people up at low to moderate intake. At least not mentally. Pot even at low use changes a person. They might even think for the better. A more ‘open mind’ and so on. But reality is very different from their deluded and fooled mind.


43 posted on 04/20/2014 6:47:06 PM PDT by Monty22002
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To: 9422WMR

This one is in Denver,the other was in Boulder.

.


44 posted on 04/20/2014 6:49:25 PM PDT by Mears
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To: Monty22002

In the coming new world they need to keep the peons under control. What better way then sex and drugs.


45 posted on 04/20/2014 6:49:50 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Celtic Conservative

During the pot legalization debate on Fox News, one opponent laughed about legalization and warned that he and a group of lawyers are drawing up the legal grounds and evidence to sue the pot companies like big tobacco. They are going to wait ten years so the pot companies become very large corporations, plus ten years worth of consumer data. All they need is clients.


46 posted on 04/20/2014 6:50:25 PM PDT by Fee ( Big Gov and Big Business are Enemies of America)
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To: Ghost of SVR4

I don’t care if people use it and it looks like it was legalized fair and square in Colorado and that’s fine with me.

I resent the lies that people tell about the drug, e.g. it’s just some harmless thing that people do in the privacy of their homes while listening to Phish CDs and it doesn’t affect anyone other than the user. It can be harmful, and it can affect others, just like the alcohol and tobacco and anything you can cite. I’d just like to some honesty about marijuana use similar to the honesty we hear about alcohol and other products. People aren’t making informed choices about marijuana that they are making about other legal drugs.


47 posted on 04/20/2014 6:50:32 PM PDT by perez24 (Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.)
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To: prairiebreeze; Signalman

No one will know how many dopers are being charged with DUI. The police only use a device for measuring alcohol intoxication.


48 posted on 04/20/2014 6:50:35 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of corruption smelled around the planet.)
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To: mgist

Give it away free to all that want it and we can eliminate thousands of pot heads!


49 posted on 04/20/2014 6:51:57 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: Mears

But the house looks very similar, same brick, window affects, trim etc. maybe same builder. Or maybe something more sinister...../S


50 posted on 04/20/2014 6:53:36 PM PDT by 9422WMR (: " Tolerance is the virtue of a man who has no convictions".)
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