A third fatality has been linked to marijuana edibles since Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use.
The death of 22-year-old Luke Goodman raises the question—yet again—of whether THC-infused foods are endangering the lives of consumers who are naïve to their delayed effects.
Goodman, an Oklahoman who was on vacation with his family, recently shot himself at a ski resort in Keystone, Colorado.
His mother blames the marijuana candy that his son ingested.
“We are absolutely convinced it was the edibles that led to his death," Kim Goodman told The Washington Post.
At first, Luke didn’t feel anything from the candy, which prompted him to ingest more marijuana treats, according to news reports. Caleb Fowler, Luke’s cousin, told Denver’s CBS4 that Luke took a total of five candies, five times the recommended dose.
“He wasn’t familiar with them," Kim Goodman told The Washington Post. “So he ate one, but 15 or 20 or 30 minutes later, he said, ‘I’m not feeling a thing.’ So they decided to take another one, then another one, then another one. And ultimately, he ended up taking five edibles."
A year ago, 19-year-old Levy Thamba leapt over a railing of a hotel to his death after he ate a marijuana cookie that a friend purchased from a Denver dispensary. One of his friends told police that he wasn’t feeling anything from the marijuana cookie so he ate the rest of the edible all at once.
In the wake of Thamba’s death, Colorado regulators adopted rules that are designed to encourage marijuana edible companies to make pot treats that contain no more than 10 mg of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
But marijuana edibles are said to take time to kick in, so people who are unaccustomed to them may take more than the recommended dose if they don’t immediately feel something, as was the case with Thamba and Goodman.
“What we’re seeing with edibles is that the effect is delayed for approximately 30 minutes, depending on the person," Al Bronstein, a physician and medical director of the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, told ABC News. “People get impatient for the effect and will take more, and then the symptoms are more pronounced than what they were expecting."
Denver attorneys representing a man who was charged with first-degree murder in the killing of his wife suggested in a preliminary hearing that he was impaired by marijuana-infused candy, according to CBS News.
Earlier this month, 48-year-old Richard Kirk pleaded not guilty and he is scheduled to go to trial in October.
“I would love to see edibles taken off the market … I think edibles are so much more dangerous," Kim Goodman told CBS4.