Three Arrests in Pot Cookie Incident at Cloyne Court

Bay City News
Friday September 08, 2006

UC Berkeley police arrested three people on felony drug charges today following an incident in which about a dozen students were briefly hospitalized after consuming what are suspected to be marijuana-laced cookies. 

University officials said the suspects, two of whom are current UC Berkeley students, are believed to have been involved with the preparation and distribution of the cookies served Wednesday night at Cloyne Court, an independent student-run housing co-op at 2600 Ridge Road near the campus. 

UC police went to the co-op after receiving a call about 8 p.m. Wednesday from a student who said she was feeling ill and very anxious. 

Police said they soon learned that about 15 others at the co-op were experiencing similar symptoms, including numbness to feet and hands, shortness of breath and minor hallucinations. 

Of those 15, a dozen were sent to local hospitals, where they were treated and released by this morning. Four were treated on the scene by paramedics, according to university officials. 

Campus police said that based on interviews with the students, they executed search warrants that led to the arrest of the three individuals. 

Michael Tobias, 24, a UC Berkeley student, was arrested on suspicion of furnishing marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale. 

Carmen Anderson, 21, also a UC Berkeley student, was arrested for possession of more than an ounce of marijuana and possession of psilocybin, a hallucinogenic drug present in some mushrooms. 

Christopher Portka, 23, was arrested for possession of more than an ounce of marijuana and possession of psilocybin. 

University officials said Anderson is believed to be the only one out of the three suspects who lives in Cloyne Court. 

In addition to the criminal case, Tobias and Anderson could face code of conduct charges for violation of campus policies. 

University officials said the University Students Cooperative Association is an independent group that offers affordable student housing and oversees 20 properties around the UC-Berkeley campus.  

Cloyne Court, the largest co-op, is among four properties owned by the University of California regents and leased to the association. It has 149 residents. 

Residents living at co-ops on UC property must be enrolled at UC Berkeley. However, they may continue to live at the co-op for an additional semester after they graduate.