[UPDATED] Students ill after eating marijuana brownies

FEARS expressed by the Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools (APPSS) of cannabis reaching the classroom were realised on Friday when five students fell ill after eating marijuana infused Valentine’s Day brownies from a classmate.

The Forms Five students of the Chaguanas North Secondary School suffered a range of symptoms including nausea, headaches and vomiting and were rushed to the Chaguanas Health Centre by ambulance on Friday afternoon.

They were all treated and discharged before 4 pm.

The Form Five female student who brought the brownies was being questioned by the Chaguanas Police up until late Friday.

Police said the student who brought the brownies could be charged with the possession of marijuana on a school compound with intent to traffic under Section 5(7) of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The father of one of the students who consumed the sweets told the Newsday the girl brought the brownies to school, probably as a Valentine’s Day surprise, and shared it with her friends, including his son.

He said shortly after consuming the batch of brownies laced with the drugs, the children began vomiting and teachers were alerted.

Staff called in the police, the parents of the ailing students and the student with the brownies. An ambulance was also called to transport them to the nearby health facility.

One of the parents called to the school said he took his son to the health centre.

He expressed sadness at what was happening in the schools and the country and advised parents to drum into their children’s head, “Trust no one.”

“Unfortunately, this is the world we are living in now so don’t eat anything from anybody. Eat only what is in your lunch kit. You cannot trust nobody out there again, not even your friend because it’s my son’s friend who brought it to school,” the parent said.

He said it was a sad commentary on society when children could not accept any edible items from their friends.

Only recently APPSS president and principal of San Fernando West Secondary School Ronald Mootoo stated publicly on the TTUTA Speaks radio programme that they were bracing for an influx of weed into the classrooms with the decriminalisation of small amounts of the substance.

Mootoo said metal detectors could not detect the substance and they did not have the manpower to do searches.

Education Minister Anthony Garcia acknowledged that the concern expressed was warranted and pledged support. However, he reminded principals they were in charge of their schools.

“Understanding that this concern stems from the idea that students may now have easier access to the drug because of the decriminalization of certain quantities of cannabis and cannabis resin, the MOE will be working with school supervisors and principals to ensure familiarity with the National Schools Code of Conduct specifically the section regarding substance abuse. The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill, 2019 also outlines imposed penalties for persons who enable children to partake in this substance.’

The ministry said sensitization and training surrounding the effects of using narcotics have also been undertaken through the Student Support Services Division, the police service, National Crime Prevention Programme and the National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Programme (NADAPP).

“Principals are also being reminded that as they act “in loco parentis” while children are at school, they have the authority to issue the search of school bags, personal possessions, and request of students to empty their pockets. If any additional physical search is required, the support of the police can be sought.”

The parent told the Newsday little could have been done by the principal if the drug was concealed the way it was in the brownie. He said when such incidents happened people were quick to cast blame on the principals, police and the minister but there is only so much they can do.

“As parents, we have to guide our children,” he said.

This story was originally published with the title "Students in hospital for ‘weed brownies’" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.

Five students of the Chaguanas North Secondary School are being treated for nausea after they reportedly ate a batch of brownies infused with marijuana while at school on Friday afternoon.

Police said the students were taken to the Chaguanas health facility after they complained to teachers about feeling unwell and began vomiting.

They told teachers that they ate a batch of brownies they got from another student.

Chaguanas CID police were called in and went to the school.

Police said the student who brought the brownies could be charged with the possession of marijuana on a school compound with intent to traffic under Section 5(7) of the Dangerous Drugs Act.


"[UPDATED] Students ill after eating marijuana brownies"

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