Man dies outside Ultra Europe after swallowing and choking on bag of weed

A 24-year-old man has died outside Ultra Europe in Croatia after choking on a plastic bag filled with marijuana.

As reported by Total Croatia News (and picked up by Mixmag), on July 16 the man was approached by police outside Ultra venue Poljud Stadium on suspicion of drug possession.

The man unsuccessfully attempted to evade police, during which time he apparently swallowed the plastic bag. He became ill while being transported to the police station, and later died in hospital of asphyxiation. The case will now be investigated by police.

The tragic event is not the first of its kind. In Australia, the presence of sniffer dogs at festival gates has caused a number of attendees to panic and take large quantities of drugs at once — high-profile cases include that of teenager Gemma Thoms, who died in 2009 at the Perth Big Day Out, and 23 year-old Victorian man James Munro, who overdosed after taking three ecstasy tablets outside the gates of Sydney’s Defqon.1 in 2013.

There is now concern that incidences like these could increase due to the proposed introduction of invasive new police powers in Victoria. According to The Herald Sun, the state government and Victorian Police are currently in discussion over plans to ramp up police powers, including giving police the authority to stop and search punters without cause.

Under the potential new changes, cops would no longer need to have a “reasonable suspicion” that a person was under the influence, or in possession of illegal drugs before searching them.

Greens MP Colleen Hartland slammed the Victorian Government over the proposals, telling them to “get realistic”, and warned that people may ingest large amounts of drugs in a panic in order to avoid being caught. Hartland has consistently urged the government to introduce a state-backed pill testing regime, which would be able to issue public alerts about dangerous substances on the market.

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