Thursday, September 3, 2009

LA Preschool Teachers Over React To Medicated Marijuana Brownies

Pot brownies sickened L.A. preschool teachers, CDC reports

September 3, 2009 | 11:06 am

A group of preschool teachers in Los Angeles was sickened by marijuana
this year after unknowingly eating pot brownies purchased from a street
vendor by a fellow instructor, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention said today.

The incident took place April 7 at an unidentified preschool and was
investigated by Los Angeles police, according to the CDC report.

The preschool teacher who brought in the brownies for her colleagues
told investigators that she purchased them two days earlier from a
street vendor who claimed to be selling them as a church fundraiser. The
unlabeled brownies cost $1.50 each and came individually in plastic
wrap. The teacher did not consume any of them but said her adult son had
eaten some before her bringing them to the school.

Five teachers ate one brownie each; a sixth teacher took a bite but
promptly spit it out, "complaining of an unusual taste," the CDC
report said. The brownies were left in a break room.

About half an hour after one of the teachers ate the brownie, the CDC
report said, the preschool director and the administrator observed one
instructor becoming sleepy and dizzy and suffering shortness of breath,
with tingling and numbness in her face, forehead and arms.

Suspicion immediately fell on the brownie.

The preschool director contacted the pastor of the church identified by
the woman who bought the brownies as having the fundraiser. The pastor
said no such fundraiser existed, and called the Los Angeles Police
Department. Police suspected a case of food-borne contamination and
notified the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health the
following day, the CDC report said.

All six people who ate the brownies -- the five teachers and the son of
the buyer -- told authorities that they had never used marijuana or any
illegal drugs.

The brownie was the only food commonly consumed by all six people, who
all reported similar symptoms of fatigue, having poor coordination,
being unable to walk straight and easily stumbling.

Two of the teachers sought medical attention. One was a breastfeeding
mother, who nursed her baby about an hour and a half after eating the
first half of a brownie at 7:30 a.m.; the baby, however, was not
sickened. The mother ate the rest of the brownie at 1 p.m.

The mother, feeling unwell by the evening, sought medical attention at 7
p.m. She received blood and urine tests; the urine test showed she was
positive for a byproduct of marijuana consumption.

None of the teachers who ate the brownies left work early that day; they
continued teaching class.

A leftover brownie was later tested by the LAPD's Scientific
Investigation Division Laboratory, which found chemicals in the dessert
that come from marijuana.

All six people who ate the brownies felt better within three to 10
hours. Police and county health officials were unable to apprehend the
sidewalk vendor.

The teacher who purchased the brownies was not charged in connection
with the incident.

-- Rong-Gong Lin II

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