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Girl unwittingly hands out THC-laced sweeties in primary school cafeteria

Gummy bears. Photo: Brandon Menth
Gummy bears. Photo: Brandon Menth

A girl at a primary school in New Mexico in the United States unwittingly handed out THC-laced sweeties in the cafeteria. THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, is the ingredient of cannabis that gets you stoned. The sweeties were gummy bears. The episode occurred at Albuquerque School of Excellence before school began on Thursday 18 January 2018. The girl was in the fifth grade – 10 or 11 years old, the equivalent of Year Six in England and Wales.

A nine-year-old pupil who ate one piece declared that the box of sweeties bore the label “Incredibles,” and she and her classmates thought they were bog-standard gummies. This company doesn’t produce gummy bears and believes the logo was counterfeit.

The effects are felt

The pupil claimed that she realised almost immediately that this was no ordinary gummy bear: she started to feel “really dizzy” and that “the room was going to flip to the side.” It’s possible for THC gummies to be as much as 100 times as powerful as regular cannabis. The parent of this child lamented that the parents in this case, for whom the sweeties were medical marijuana, were guilty of “dangerous” behaviour for not keeping control of their drugs. It was, however, reported that the gummy bears belonged to the girl’s grandfather.

This primary school’s dean, Kristy Del Curto, commented that later, in class, the pupil who brought the sweeties felt sick and was dispatched to the school nurse. The pupil initially believed she had fallen prey to food poisoning caused by something purchased in the primary school’s cafeteria. The box containing the sweeties had been cast into a bin, and when it was recovered, “… as soon as we looked at it, we said, ‘Nope, that is not candy.’” This pupil ate three or four pieces, while four others ate one each. The other four responded to a call made on the school’s PA system asking for pupils who had eaten gummy bears that morning to report in. Some became giggly, while some got sick. 911, the US equivalent of 999, was called, and paramedics were summoned. Del Curto added that the school was endeavouring to do all that it could to ensure the episode won’t be repeated.

Well, it looked like a sweetie

Del Curto also mentioned that the sweeties were medicinal, and she didn’t believe the pupil realised they were drug-filled: “… if you saw the picture on the box, it did look like candy.” With more states legalising medical marijuana, Del Curto holds that we’ll be seeing more of this at primary schools.

The nine-year-old knew drugs to be badbadbad and was upset to have accidentally ingested some. She commented to local TV channel KRQE, “All those lessons I took about not taking drugs were all for nothing.” This was rather eloquent for a nine-year-old, and one wonders if she was fed the line.

The policy of this primary school is for students to not share any foodstuffs brought from home for fear of allergic reactions, and Del Curto remarked that parents had been emailed to remind them of this. This was also announced on Facebook. The girl with the drugs was placed on suspension for one week for breaking this rule and her parents are under investigation. Dr Barry Ramo commented, “It’s very important to keep these away from children. They taste good, they often look like candy, and kids are really seduced by them.”