Student fell to death after eating marijuana cookie, Denver coroner says

Levy Thamba. (Credit: Facebook)

Levy Thamba. (Credit: Facebook)

DENVER — The Denver medical examiner’s office said Wednesday a Wyoming college student fell to his death at a Denver hotel last month after eating a marijuana cookie.

Levy Thamba Pongi, 19, an exchange student from the Republic of Congo, was visiting Denver in mid-March apparently for spring break and was staying at the Holiday Inn Denver East — Stapleton (3333 Quebec St.), the Powell Tribune reported.

In the autopsy report, the coroner said Pongi died from “multiple injuries due to fall from height,” “fall from balcony after consuming marijuana cookie” and added “marijuana intoxication” was a “significant condition.” It ruled the death an accident.

Pongi had a marijuana concentration of 7.2 nanograms of active THC per milliliter in his blood, the coroner’s report said. The state limit for impaired driving cases is 5 nanograms per milliliter.

The death is believed to be the first in the state linked to marijuana intoxication since sales of recreational marijuana began Jan. 1.

The Powell Tribune reported Pongi had been at the school only about 1 1/2 months and was studying engineering at the school, which is in the northern part of the state, about 120 miles west of Sheridan.

“His social life showed that he was a very nice person,” said Emelee Volden, intercultural program manager at Northwest College. “He made a lot of friends in a short amount of time.”

Many people posted messages on Pongi’s Facebook page after news of his death spread.

“Your value was one all cherished,” wrote Leronz Otarel Nkosi. “The world has lost a true gentlemen.”

1 Comment

  • John D

    If the state considers people capable of driving on public roads with 5 nanograms/ml in their system, how can you honestly believe that with 7.2 nanograms/ml you will be so utterly intoxicated that you will just fall over a balcony? It’s unfortunate that he slipped and fell to his death, but using his death to demonize marijuana is pathetic.

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