Forget spiking the punch, two University of Colorado at Boulder students took things to the next level by feeding their unsuspecting classmates and professor pot-laced brownies during a “bring food to class” day. The brownie tainters, Thomas Cunningham, 21, and Mary Essa, 19, are realizing their actions were much more than a prank, as they were arrested Saturday on suspicion of four felonies, including second-degree assault and inducing consumption of a controlled substance by fraudulent means.
According to the university’s police spokesman, Ryan Huff, three of those who ate the brownies were hospitalized after experiencing symptoms caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the property in marijuana.
On Friday morning, police were called to a classroom building after reports that a professor was complaining of dizziness and going in and out of consciousness; she was transported by paramedics to a hospital. Later, a student’s mother told police her daughter, who had been in the professor’s class, had suffered “an anxiety attack” and was at the hospital.
The next day, parents of another student informed police they took their daughter to the hospital after she felt like she was going to pass out after attending the same class.
All three victims have since been released from the hospital.
Officials learned Cunningham and Essa baked the brownies after questioning 11 of the class’ 12 students as well as the professor. Saturday evening Cunningham and Essa confessed that the brownies indeed contained marijuana.
Colorado recently approved the recreational use of small amounts of marijuana, and some supporters are concerned the pair’s ill-considered joke will only provide critics with more fuel for complaint.
“One can only imagine had she been in the car, had she been with her children in the car when the drugs started to take effect, what could have been the outcome of this, and it’s just a terrible, irresponsible and reckless act,” professor Susan Kent said in regard to her co-worker.*
The university’s board has not yet decided whether to give the students suspension or expulsion, but Colorado University Spokesperson Bronson Hillard called it a “stupid, irresponsible act.”