UC Berkeley News
Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

Three arrests made following incident involving apparent marijuana-laced cookies

– University of California, Berkeley, police this morning (Thursday, Sept. 7) have arrested three individuals on felony drug charges following an incident in which approximately a dozen students were briefly hospitalized after consuming what is suspected to be marijuana-laced cookies.

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 near the campus.

The UC Police Department learned of the incident following an 8 p.m. call from a student who said she was feeling ill and very anxious. Police soon learned that approximately 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 fire department paramedics.

Based on interviews with the students, campus police executed search warrants that led to the arrest of the three individuals: Michael Tobias, 24, a UC Berkeley student, on suspicion of furnishing marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale; Carmen Anderson, 21, also a UC Berkeley student, for possession of more than an ounce of marijuana and possession of psilocybin (hallucinogenic mushrooms); and Christopher Portka , 23, for possession of more than an ounce of marijuana and possession of psilocybin.

Of the three individuals, Anderson is believed to be the only one who lives in Cloyne Court. In addition to the criminal case, the students arrested could face code of conduct charges for violation of campus policies.

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, if they graduate in the fall or spring, they may continue to live at the co-op for an additional semester.