Two CU students arrested for giving pot brownies to unsuspecting classmates and instructor

Two CU students have been arrested by the CU Police Department for allegedly giving marijuana-laced brownies to an unsuspecting faculty member and students.

According to a CUPD news release, police arrived at the Hellems Arts and Sciences Building at about 10:20 a.m. on Friday after receiving a report that a professor was complaining of dizziness and wavering consciousness. The professor was taken to a local hospital.

CUPD spokesperson Ryan Huff, left, and CU spokesperson Bronson Hilliard, right, listen to a reporter’s question during a press conference concerning two CU students who were arrested for allegedly giving pot brownies to their classmates and professor during a history class on Friday. (Kai Casey/CU Independent)

Other students in the class complained of similar symptoms and police also received a report from a parent of a student in the class that their child was having an anxiety attack at a local hospital around 4 p.m. Friday.

CUPD spoke with 21-year-old communication major Thomas Ricardo Cunningham and 19-year-old Mary Elizabeth Essa yesterday on suspicion that the two students baked marijuana-laced brownies for “bring food day” without the knowledge of their classmates and instructor who consumed them. After interviewing 11 out of 12 students in the class, police found that two did not consume the brownies, three were hospitalized, and five others became ill. Hospitalized victims have since been released.

Cunningham and Essa are facing multiple charges which include: assault in the Second Degree (Class 4 felony), Inducing Consumption of Controlled Substances by Fraudulent Means (Class 4 felony), Conspiracy to Commit Assault in the Second Degree (Class 5 felony), and Conspiracy to Commit Inducing Consumption of Controlled Substances by Fraudulent Means (Class 5 felony).

CUPD spokesperson Ryan Huff and CU spokesperson Bronson Hilliard spoke to press at 12:30 p.m. today in the 2nd Conference Room at the Police/Parking Services building.

This case remains under investigation. As of early this morning the two students are still in custody of Boulder PD and it is not known if the two suspects are holders of medical marijuana cards.

The two suspects had planned this before coming to class, Huff said at the press conference, and could face multiple accounts on the charges that they are convicted of; prison time is possible.

Below, a video of the Q&A with reporters and the audio of Huff and Hilliard giving statements at the press conference.

Contact CU Independent News Editor Nora Keating at and Breaking News Editor Bethany Morris at

Nora Keating

This fall marks Nora's fourth semester as part of the CUI staff and she is now the news editor. Nora is a junior international affairs major from Connecticut who enjoys reality TV, coffee, hiking, hippie rock, and 60's movies. Her dream job would involve a lot of plane hopping and adventuring and writing all about it. Don't mistake her quiet nature for kindness - she is silently judging at all times. Contact CU Independent News Editor Nora Keating at

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