An elderly man and two women were treated Saturday at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach after unknowingly eating brownies containing marijuana during a friend's memorial service, police said.
The three patients — an 82-year-old man and two 71-year-old women who live in Newport and Huntington Beach — were hospitalized within an hour of each other after experiencing nausea, dizziness and the inability to stand on their own, said Huntington Beach Police Department Lt. Russell Reinhart.
Hoag contacted Huntington police after the three were admitted with the same symptoms. They had been at a reception in Huntington.
"The guy who passed away used to eat marijuana brownies," Reinhart said. "Someone sent them out because he used to eat them, but no one knew what was in them. They were sitting on a table, and people were snacking on them and three people got sick."
The incident took place just one day after the U.S. Attorney's office launched a statewide raid of medical marijuana dispensaries and arrested some dispensary operators.
"There is a lot of desensitization by calling it medical marijuana," Reinhart said. "There are still problems with medical marijuana because it is a drug, so it can make people sick. There are also crimes associated with it.
"I'm not saying that there are no other drug problems, but marijuana is a drug, and it does cause problems for law enforcement in the community."
The one day before the three seniors were hospitalized, two marijuana dealers were attacked in a quiet Huntington Beach neighborhood while making a delivery to customers they believed lived there, Reinhart said.
The man and the woman were robbed at gunpoint at about 8:30 p.m. Friday on Mataro Lane after getting out of their car to make the delivery, Reinhart said.
The suspects, described as two black men in their 20s, posed as customers who live in one of the homes. Police said they stole $1,500 worth of marijuana, the dealers' cell phones and car keys.