Authorities say a teenager who jumped to his death ate six times the recommended amount of a marijuana cookie on what was likely his first time consuming the drug.
Levi Pongi, 19, jumped off a 4th floor balcony at a Denver motel in March. He was reportedly in Colorado for spring break.
The Denver medical examiner's office found that marijuana intoxication was a "significant contributing factor" in Pongi's death--a first for the office, sister station KCNC reports.
It was Pongi's first time to try marijuana, according to his friends.
“Right off the bat 15 percent of people can have a psychotic reaction and someone who has never used before is at an even greater risk,” addiction expert Dr. Christian Thurstone told KCNC.
Thurstone that it's easy to over consume marijuana when ingested in edible form, because it takes much longer to feel the effects than it does when smoking pot. Pongi's friends said they were advised buy the dispensary clerk to cut the cookie into six pieces and then each person eat a single piece.
But after 30 minutes, his friends say Pongi complained about not feeling any effects, and grabbed the other five pieces. After eating the whole cookie, Pongi allegedly went wild, pulling things off of walls and getting hostile.
KCNC reports that one of his friends told police he "tried to grab Levi because Levi was getting ‘crazy’ destroying lamps and TV. Levi ran out of the room and jumped off the balcony.”
A toxicology report found Pongi had a THC level of 7.2 nanograms in his blood. The level Colorado considers to be marijuana intoxication is 5 nanograms.
Pongi, being under 21, was prohibited by Colorado law to be in possession of marijuana to begin with. Authorities said he was with a friend who was over 21, the legal age to purchase or possess the drug.
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