BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Two University of Colorado students have been arrested for allegedly giving marijuana-laced brownies to classmates and an instructor without their knowledge.

CU police said officers on Friday responded to the Hellems Arts and Sciences Building on a report of a professor who was complaining of dizziness and going in and out of consciousness.

“Paramedics transported her to a local hospital. At about 4 p.m., a student’s mother notified UCPD that her daughter (who was in the professor’s class earlier that day) was having an anxiety attack and was at a local hospital,” Police said in a statement.

Police said after investigating it was found that three hospitalized victims and five other classmates were suffering from the effects of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

“Two students – Thomas Ricardo Cunningham, 21, and Mary Elizabeth Essa, 19 – baked THC-laced brownies for the class as part of a ‘bring food day.’ The professor and classmates were unaware that the brownies contained THC,” police said.

Thomas Cunningham (credit: Facebook)

Thomas Cunningham (credit: Facebook)

Cunningham and Essa were arrested. They face charges of assault in the second degree, inducing consumption of controlled substances by fraudulent means, conspiracy to commit assault in the second degree, and conspiracy to commit inducing consumption of controlled substances by fraudulent means.

“As instructors, we work very hard to create an environment of trust, to create a community where the students can talk about difficult issues related to the material. To have that violated by bringing in pot-laced brownies to class is outrageous,” said Lucy Chester, Associate Professor of History and International Affairs.

The instructor and the students have all recovered.

“I do know that having brownies or food product laced with marijuana can be more dangerous or can have more harmful effects say than somebody smoking marijuana,” Ryan Huff with CU police said. “Especially somebody who had never done it before; they can especially have some pretty bad effects.”

“Anybody who thinks this is cute, anybody who thinks that this was funny is going to face pretty severe sanctions, both criminally and potentially within the student conduct process,” CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard said.

The case remains under investigation.


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