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Man sentenced for pot cookie incident

May 18, 2011 at 1:41 PM   |   Comments

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PITTSBURGH, May 18 (UPI) -- A San Francisco man was fined and sentenced to probation for interfering with a flight crew after eating medical marijuana cookies.

Prosecutors said Kinman Chan was responsible for a US Airways pilot's decision to divert his Philadelphia-to-San Francisco flight to Pittsburgh International Airport on Jan. 31, 2010, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Wednesday.

During the flight, Chan went to the lavatory and began shouting, screaming and throwing things, prosecutors said.

He emerged, partially unclothed, and attempted to elbow flight attendant Lorin Gorman, who used her martial arts training to subdue him as the plane diverted to Pittsburgh.

After the landing, Chan told FBI agents that he is prescribed marijuana for carpal tunnel syndrome.

He takes it in cookies, and his usual dose is half of a cookie, he said, but in Philadelphia, he ate an entire cookie.

"I made some mistakes and am really sorry for it," Chan, 32, told U.S. District Court Judge Gustave Diamond in Pittsburgh as he pleaded guilty.

Diamond called it "an aberrant instance induced by an overdosing on a prescription" that is illegal in Pennsylvania but allowed in California, and sentenced Chan to five years probation that could drop to three if Chan pays US Airways $6,804 in restitution for the cost of diverting the flight.

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