At least five teens were taken to a local hospital after eating cannabis-infused gummy bears during gym class in Florida. The gummies were brought to Mulberry Middle School by a 12-year-old boy, but authorities have not yet been able to determine how he obtained them.
According to NBC, the boy has given police “a couple of different stories,” including that he ordered them online and that someone gave them to him on the bus. It is illegal to sell cannabis products online or ship them across state lines, of course, due to the fact that they are classified as a Schedule I drug by the federal government.
Edible forms of cannabis, including the “Green Hornet” gummies that were eaten by the kids in Florida, are becoming more available as more states legalize marijuana on a medical and recreational basis. Medical marijuana was legalized in Florida in 2017, but it remains illegal for anyone without medical permission and anyone below the age of 21.
The hospitalized students, all of whom are 12-years-old, complained of dizziness, nausea, and stomach aches. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd reported that one kid was “all but passed out.” High doses of cannabis can cause disorientation and other disturbing symptoms, but there have been no reported cases of death due to cannabis consumption in the United States.
The identity of the boy who handed out the gummies has not been released due to his age, but he has been charged with one count of possession of THC or marijuana resin and six counts of distribution of THC within 1,000 feet of a school, both of which are felonies in the state of Florida. He was also charged with possession of paraphernalia.
Minors can be tried as adults in the state of Florida, but only if they’re at least 14 years of age. The sheriff appears more concerned as to how these drugs were obtained than about punishing the young boy.
“We’re concerned as to, one, how did a 12-year-old ever come to be in possession of this drug — this illegal drug in the state of Florida,” Judd said. “And, two, why did he offer it to these six kids?”
Jacqueline Byrd, superintendent of Polk County Public Schools, assured parents that the district is committed to the safety of their students and encouraged parents to talk to their kids about drugs.
“We want to make sure everyone is safe when they come to school each and every day,” said Byrd in a press conference.