BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A man admitted in court on Friday he and a friend gave brownies baked with marijuana in them to their unknowing classmates and a professor at the University of Colorado.

Thomas Cunningham pled guilty in Boulder County Court to bringing the edibles into class on a December day when the students were encouraged to bring and share food. Cunningham, 21, along with Mary Essa, 19, allegedly didn’t tell anyone the brownies had pot in them and eight people wound up feeling sick. Three needed hospital care.

Cunningham pled guilty to a charge of inducing consumption of a controlled substance. As part of his sentence he’ll have to pay more than $5,000 to the people who were affected by the crime. He will also have to complete 120 hours of community service. If he completes the terms of his sentence after 24 months he will avoid jail time.

The chairwoman of CU’s History Department told CBS4 after the incident that the students’ professor was among those who got ill, and that she was “lapsing in and out of consciousness and unable to walk.” She described the incident as “irresponsible and reckless.”

Mary Essa and Thomas Cunningham (credit: Boulder Sheriff)

Mary Essa and Thomas Cunningham (credit: Boulder Sheriff)

Essa was supposed to be arraigned along with Cunningham on Friday but she’s out of state and her hearing was continued until April 15.

Cunningham’s lawyer said the university suspended Cunningham after the incident.


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