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Pot brownies sicken several in Orange County

March 6, 2010 |  4:06 pm

Brownie Several people who ate pot brownies in Huntington Beach on Friday felt so ill that they were sent to the hospital, police said.

About four to five people eating at a restaurant on Main Street near Beach Boulevard complained of difficulty breathing and hallucinations, Huntington Beach police said. They asked paramedics to send them to the hospital. The pot brownies were purchased at a medical marijuana dispensary.

Because those who complained of illness had medical marijuana cards, police did not consider the illnesses to be a criminal issue, said Huntington Beach Police Lt. Craig Bryant.

Eating marijuana can produce more unpleasant reactions than inhaling it, according to the National Institutes of Health.  A person smoking marijuana can feel the drug's effects in seconds or minutes, allowing the user to stop inhaling when they begin to feel unpleasant side effects.

But it can take 30 to 60 minutes for people who ingest marijuana -- in a brownie, for example -- to feel the drug's effects.

"These effects add up and last longer, making unpleasant reactions more likely," according to the health institute's website.

-- Rong-Gong Lin II

Photo: Los Angeles Times