One dead from suspected ganja overdose, 3 others in Bangkok hospitals

TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2022

A 51-year-old man has died of heart failure after smoking cannabis while a 16-year-old boy is among three other people who have suffered overdose symptoms in Bangkok, the governor said on Tuesday.

Chadchart Sittipunt was speaking after chairing a meeting of senior Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) officials on return from his four-day trip to attend his son’s university commencement ceremony in the US.

Chadchart said that since marijuana was decriminalised on June 9, four users had been admitted to BMA-run hospitals with suspected overdose symptoms. That rate of hospitalisation was unheard of before legalisation, he added.

In the first case, a 51-year-old man was rushed to Charoen Krung Pracharak Hospital after he suffered chest pain while smoking marijuana. He later died from what doctors diagnosed as cardiac arrest and heart failure.

According to Harvard Medical School, research indicates that the risk of heart attack in people with cardiovascular disease rises by several times in the hour after smoking cannabis.

In the second case, a boy aged 16 and a half was diagnosed with ganja overdose symptoms and placed on a ventilator in the intensive care unit of Luangpor Thaweesak Chutintharo Uthit Hospital.

Chadchart said the other two cases, aged 17 and 25, were admitted to Taksin Hospital after suffering rapid heartbeat and palpitations following a session of cannabis smoking.

“The BMA’s Medical Service Department has never seen such cases before,” Chadchart said. The department would join hands with the BMA’s health and education departments to educate people about dangers of overdosing on the decriminalised herb, he added.

Chadchart said overdosing could also occur from consuming cannabis in foods.

He said the BMA would monitor the situation and impose a ban on cannabis in schools. It would also educate students and teachers about the dangers while ensuring sale of cannabis is prohibited in front of schools.