When six members of a family sat down for their Christmas meal in the Czech Republic, they probably weren’t expecting to spend the next few hours throwing up and having visions. The blame, it seems, lies with a secret ingredient.
The family of seven got together for some roast duck on Christmas Day in the town of Vratimov, in the eastern Moravian-Silesian Region, but only one of them didn't end up taking a ride in an ambulance after suffering nausea, dizziness, vomiting, headaches and hallucinations. Four adults, aged between 37 and 71, and two children, aged six and three, were taken to hospital with what seemed to be carbon monoxide poisoning.
But after searching the house, emergency workers couldn’t find a gas leak anywhere and suspicion fell on the food the family was eating. It turned out that the elderly, female member of the family, the grandma, took some cannabis which she mistook for marjoram, and used it to season the duck. She was using the marijuana medicinally, and was the only one left standing at the end of the meal.
A criminal case has now been opened into the preparation of illicit drugs, a police spokeswoman, cited by Czech media, confirmed.
The possession of small amounts of drugs (15 grams of weed, four ecstasy pills, two grams of crystal meth, one gram of cocaine or 1.5 grams of heroin) is decriminalized in the Czech Republic, carrying a maximum fine of €550, while medicinal marijuana was legalized in 2013. Along with France, the Czech Republic has one of the highest rates of cannabis use in Europe.