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

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

Read the CDC’s report, "Inadvertent Ingestion of Marijuana --- Los Angeles, California, 2009."

Comments () | Archives (85)

And yet we still have a chorus of people in this city that say that the rigged shopping cart hot dog grills, taco trucks and other unlicensed vendors are somehow beneficial to us? That they provide us with a valuable service? Although I do see shades of Darwin here, anyone who purchases food from a man on the sidewalk should be aware of the impending physical problems that would stem from their consumption.

Of course the Preschool Teachers ordering 6 large cheese pizza's, each from Domino's 30 minutes after consuming the 'Alice B. Tokeless' deserts did not assist the Authorities in determing that something was 'Mighty' fishey here.....

"Suspicion immediately fell on the brownie."

Now the brownie will be forced into rehab, pay a fine and most likely relocate to Amsterdam.

You know, that was on an episode of "The Closer"

Funny how the mother ate half the brownie in the morning and the other half in the early afternoon, after the buzz had worn off. Also how the teachers continued teaching their classes while baking on brownies.

They were stoned, not sick. Teachers need to relax. Suddenly, I'm craving brownies...

Just serves to show why we should regulate these, probably illegal, street vendors. All other businesses have to have licenses, so why not them? For far too long we have turned our heads the other way when it comes to these people. Those that became sick should consider themselves lucky it wasn't worse.

"Sickened" is what they're calling it these days? How about stoned? Hey man, let's go get sickened! Just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Enough with the "Scare" tactics and propaganda messaging. Earth to LA Times...The Bush Era is Over!

This is a classic case of "buyer beware" and don't accept a street vendor's goods as necessarily legit.

We should be reading about and hearing more stories on the economic and medical ramifications of decriminalizing and taxing nature's gift to us.

Lol, wow, these 'ole ladies need to lighten up. A pot brownie isn't going to do any harm to you...Except make you feel A LOT better, and happier lol.

And, none of the others got the munchies? Wow!

This sounds rather odd. In the first place why would you buy brownies off of a street vendor and then wait two days to bring them to the school, but then the brownies are hard. Also the brownies made the teachers sleepy and dizzy and suffering shortness of breath, with tingling and numbness in her face, forehead and arms. This is one hell of a brownie. I have heard of marijuana making you sleepy, dizzy and want to eat, but nothing else. I believe they really need to look at the teacher because this sounds so unreal.

Hahaha, sickened... I mean, not to say that an unsuspecting consumer of said brownies wouldn't feel a little odd, but sickened?
And wow, those are some pretty cheap brownies to have greens in them! Must have cost the guy more to make them at that price.

Accidents happen she was trying to help out a church. So just let it go people.

Regardless of your opinion on marijuana, it is wrong to trick and sell to an unsuspecting consumer. Do people realize that a nursing mother ate one unknowingly?

This is the most ridiculous story I've heard in a long time.


adult son cooks brownies, teacher mom accidently takes them
from home and distributes to teacher friends.


Sickened? LOL

I'm sure they were feeling awesome.

And that same nursing mother ate the other half of the brownie FIVE HOURS after consuming the first half.... MUST HAVE NOT BEEN THAT "SICK!" No one said it was right to not inform the purchaser of the contents of the brownie... but the way that it is obviously thrown out of proportion is just ridiculous.

Then again, seeing the way the entire country throws marijuana out of proportion, I'm not surprised.

"The unlabled browies cost $1.50 each". Even assuming that these people had no experience with pot it sounds like there was more than $1.50 worth of marijuana in each of the brownies. Now what makes more sense: that someone was selling these below cost or that they smoked a joint while baking and got ashes in the mix? Ashes which would make them sick (they appeared to be more sick than stoned) and still test positive? Hmmm.

Buying CRAP from a sidewalk vendor? And this idiot teaches?

many responses seem to reflect that they were just high, and no one is really hurt. thousand of people are murdered every year because of drugs, there is nothing innocent about drugs, if you consume/smoke drugs, sell drugs,launder money for drugs your the problem why thousands of people are murdered because of drugs. its not innocent.

Almost an interesting story. Almost.

" who all reported similar symptoms of fatigue, having poor coordination, being unable to walk straight and easily stumbling." translates to:

...a slight relaxing feeling of euphoria that seemed to make life a little brighter and full of joy.

I'm calling shenanigans. Nothing about this story sounds legit. Nobody sells the goodies for $1.50. And remember, teachers at that level are usually exactly as smart as their students. I'm thinking son made brownies, mom got into them and took them to school, Rong Gong gets the task to write absurd propaganda piece for the Times. End of story.

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