ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO: A fifth-grader brought gummy bears infused with marijuana to school and shared them with her classmates, believing they were just gummy bears. The Albuquerque Journal reported that the nine-year-old found the gummy bears at home last week, not realizing that the gummy bears weren't candy, but actually her grandfather's medical marijuana.
The student shared the gummy bears with some classmates in the cafeteria of the elementary school, the Albuquerque School of Excellence. Once in the classroom, the student who brought the gummy bears became ill and was sent to see the school nurse. She told the nurse that she thought she ate something bad from the cafeteria and that she may have food poisoning. She reported feeling dizzy and when asked what else she had consumed, the student told the nurse she had eaten some gummy bears.
The nurse asked the student where the gummy bears were and was told that the empty box had been thrown in the garbage. After finding the container in the trash, school officials learned that the gummy bears were actually cannabis-infused gummy bears and made an announcement for any students who ate the gummy bears to come to the nurse's office, where 5 more students were spoken to.
A few of the students became giggly after consuming the gummy bears. Others said that they did not feel anything. The student who had brought the gummy bears revealed that she had eaten 5 of the gummy bears. She was also the only one who felt ill after eating the gummy bears, although one student did report feeling a bit dizzy upon eating a gummy bear. The label on the cannabis-infused edibles was "The Incredibles," according to the school's dean, Kristi Del Curto. She also said that the picture on the box looked like candy. Each dose contained 30 milligrams of THC. Del Curto was not aware of any criminal charges being filed at this time.
The school called the paramedics, the parents of the 5 students, the Children, Youth and Families Department, and the Albuquerque Police Department. All the students are fine and are back to school.
Edibles are very popular and are also considered safer than smoking marijuana because of the health risks associated with smoking. For instance, 45 percent of pot sales in Colorado are from edibles. However, edibles are also more potent and contain highly concentrated levels of THC. Some edibles can contain up to 90 percent THC, while marijuana flowers general have less than 30 percent.
Many people consuming edibles are not immediately aware of the potency in edibles, allowing them to eat too many and ignoring the recommended dose. Edibles come in several forms, including gummy bears, chocolates, lollipops, brownies, cookies, tea bags, drinks, capsules, oils, wax, butter, and spreads.
It is recommended that people should wait at least one hour after consuming edibles before having another dose, especially people who have never consumed marijuana or cannabis-infused edibles before. Most emergency room visits from people consuming marijuana are related to edible consumption.
School officials are using the incident as a teaching moment and reminded parents that the school has a “no food or drinks from home” policy. Both teachers and students were given an emergency safety class to teach them about marijuana and edibles. Dean Del Curto also put out a statement politely requesting that parents, as well as the community, use caution when discussing medicine, medical marijuana, or drugs around students.
Medical marijuana is legal in Guam, Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., and 29 states. New Mexico was the 12th state to legalize medical marijuana in 2007. Washington, D.C. and 9 states have legalized recreational marijuana.