At least five children at a Colorado middle school were sickened after eating marijuana-infused edibles, The Denver Post reports. Authorities are unclear how the foodstuffs made their way into the school.
Assistant Principal Jennifer Lindberg said that at about 2:15 p.m. on Monday, March 9, several students at Adams County Middle School in Commerce City reported feeling dizzy and nauseous. The kids later admitted to a school health practitioner that they had eaten so-called "edibles" -- that is, candy infused with THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana.
School officials decided to send the youngsters via ambulance to an area hospital. A total of eight kids were taken, though it was not specified that all showed symptoms of having ingested the candy.
The rest of the Adams County students, who were not believed or suspected to have eaten the edibles, finished school as usual and were sent home at the end of the school day.
In addition to being unsure of the origin of the edibles, authorities are also did not know if they were professionally-made commercial products, legally available at marijuana dispensaries all across Colorado, or if they were homemade.
As for the sickened children, officials believe they are not in any medical danger.
In adults, the use of marijuana edibles requires great care, as they take longer to produce a high in the user than more traditional methods of ingesting, such as smoking. What's more, different users will react differently, and what may be a normal dose for one user can cause an unpleasant reaction in others.
As Mic reports, some of the effects of overdosing on marijuana edibles, in adults, can include panic, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and in some cases, even hallucinations. However, while the experience can be exceptionally unpleasant, it is generally believed that it's impossible to consume enough marijuana edibles to put the user in danger.
In children, however, the effects of marijuana, and marijuana edibles specifically, are not fully understood. What is known is that kids' bodies metabolize THC at different rates. As a result, even a small dose puts young patients at risk of severe symptoms that can require hospital admission, according to Children's Hospital Colorado.
Back in Commerce City, it seems as if some parents are taking exception to how the school handled this issue.
In a Facebook post, the Adams 14 School District explained to parents what had happened. In the comments, some parents are letting the district know that the situation wasn't handled to their satisfaction.
For example, one parent says that the children who weren't taken away by ambulance were treated "like prisoners," having to be escorted by an adult to the drinking fountain or restroom, and not allowed to leave the school to go home without a parent picking them up. Other parents complained of having to wait in a long line to pick up their kids, and several users complained about the lack of communication from school officials. One parent they said they didn't find out anything was wrong until they got a call from their child.
"The way this whole situation was handled was trash. Very unprofessional," said one parent.