JOHOR BARU, Aug 3 — The case of the alleged marijuana-laced cookies seized by police from the Sultanah Aminah Hospital here on Wednesday may take a different twist, with the suspected ingredient being just oregano instead.
It was learnt that the the cookies in the jar and several packets of dried leaves seized earlier by a team from the Johor Baru South district police narcotics criminal investigation department (NCID) was found to be a common herb used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.
Investigators have also identified a 27-year-old medical lab technician, a co-worker of the two victims who were earlier unconscious, who was responsible for baking the cookies.
Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd said initial investigations revealed that the dried leaves was in fact oregano which is popularly used in some Western dishes but less commonly, in cookies.
“Based on our early investigations and also questioning of a staff member from the hospital’s pathology department, we learnt that the cookies were infused with oregano,” he said when contacted by Malay Mail, referring to the police.
However, Mohd Khalil stressed that police have not initiated an arrest of the staff member as initial investigations did not reveal that the substances in the cookies contained illicit drugs.
“Police are still investigating the case pending the ingredient results of the cookie samples from the Chemistry Department,” he said, adding that any further action will depend on the results.
The state’s top cop also revealed that a total of eight staff members from the department had consumed the cookies from the unit’s pantry.
But, Mohd Khalil said only two staff members complained of being dizzy and had rapid heartbeats before passing-out.
“It is possible that the two staff members may have had other medical complications, or are also allergic to certain ingredients in the cookies,” he said.
Earlier today, Malay Mail published a story that police have seized cookies believed to be laced with marijuana in the Sultanah Aminah Hospital here after two staff members had allegedly consumed them unknowingly and passed out on Monday.
The two, who are medical lab technicians, had eaten the cookies that were kept in their office pantry on Monday.
The men, in their 20s, then had bouts of dizziness and unusually rapid heartbeat before passing out in the pathology department’s microbiology unit.