A 12-year-old middle school student in Central Florida faces felony charges after deputies said he fed several classmates marijuana-laced gummies at school on Thursday morning.
The Mulberry Middle School student offered up pieces of a 100-milligram block of Green Hornet THC gummies to fellow seventh graders, and the children “devoured” nearly all of it during their second-period gym class, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a press conference in the afternoon.
Judd said the block of gummies is designed to be torn into 10 individual gummies, each containing a 10-milligram dose of THC. But the children had more than that dose — and the resulting effects on the two boys and four girls who ate the edibles sent five of the six kids to the hospital by ambulance. The students were complaining of symptoms ranging from nausea and dizziness, Judd said.
“One of them was all but passed out,” Judd said.
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All of the students are going to be fine, the sheriff’s office said. Judd said their intense reaction to the edible gummies, which are illegal in Florida, shouldn’t be a surprise.
“It’s easy to figure out,” Judd said, holding up a picture of the edibles’ packaging at the news conference. “A 100-milligram bar that should be (spilt) into ten separate doses of legal-use in California of THC, is now distributed … between six children.”
The 12-year-old boy faces a felony count of possession of THC or marijuana resin, and six felony counts of distribution of THC within 1,000 feet of a school, the sheriff’s office said. He also faces a misdemeanor count of possession of paraphernalia.
Judd said the 12-year-old kept changing his story about where the gummies came from, at one point telling authorities someone on the school bus gave it to him. The boy may have gotten the gummies from someone else or over the internet, Judd said, explaining that the investigation is ongoing.
“His parents are totally cooperating, and understand the gravity of this situation,” Judd said.
Judd identified the student who faces charges by name during the press conference, but McClatchy is withholding his name because he is a juvenile.
What of the other children?
“The other kids have eaten the evidence, so to speak” Judd said when asked if more children would also face criminal charges. “You could draw blood and then there would be misdemeanor possession. But no, we’re not going to charge the other children.”
Speaking alongside Judd at the news conference, the school’s superintendent asked that parents stay alert and watch what their children are doing.
“Please talk to your children,” Polk County Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd advised parents. “We want to make sure that everyone is safe when they come to school each and every day.”
At least one surprised parent said she was concerned after the incident.
“I’m actually pretty glad that it wasn’t my kid and I feel real bad for the parents of the kids that it did happen to,” parent Amanda Cochran said, according to Spectrum News.