Document: CU Boulder student admitted planning to give unsuspecting classmates pot brownies

Suspects could face prison time on felony charges

BOULDER, Colo. - A student at the University of Colorado in Boulder admitted planning to give unsuspecting classmates pot-laced brownies, according to a police report 7NEWS obtained Monday.

Mary Elizabeth Essa, 19, admitted baking brownies with Thomas Ricardo Cunningham, 21, and adding marijuana extract, according to the report by the University of Colorado Police Department.

Two students and an instructor were hospitalized for the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, campus police said. Five others reported feeling sick after eating the brownies Friday. The three hospitalized victims have since been released.

Police arrested Cunningham and Essa on suspicion of second-degree assault, inducing consumption of controlled substances by fraudulent means, conspiracy to commit second-degree assault, and conspiracy to commit inducing consumption of controlled substances by fraudulent means.

"There could be prison time in this case," CU police spokesman Ryan Huff said at a Sunday news conference. "This is something we take very seriously."

The university will review the cases and could suspend or expel the two students.

In court Monday, bond for the two students was set at $5,000. If they do bond out of jail, the conditions would require pretrial supervision. They would also need to stay off drugs and would be subject to drug testing.

"This was not a prank. This was stupid and irresponsible and reckless and had a terrible impact on at least eight people," said Susan Kent, the chair of the CU History Department.

Kent said the professor, Celine Dauverd, couldn't walk after she took a bite of the brownie and was in and out of consciousness for the rest of the day.

"This turned out as well as it could," Kent said. "What if she had passed out behind the wheel in a populated area? Or with her children in the car with her? One can imagine the consequences."

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