(Photo: Thomas Hawthorne/The Republic)
It didn’t take long for school officials to notice something was wrong after a New Mexico student shared a box of gummy candy with her classmates.
One student at the Albuquerque School of Excellence started feeling dizzy. Another couldn’t see. Some claimed they were "giggly."
Turns out, the fifth-grader unknowingly ate and handed out THC-laced candy to five other classmates, school officials say.
The 9-year-old brought a box of gummies from home last Thursday morning, according to Albuquerque Journal.
"She thought she was sharing candy, and if you saw the picture on the box, it did look like candy," Kristi Del Curto, dean of elementary students, told the newspaper.
The student then fell ill after eating five pieces, Curto said.
"She told the nurse that she was feeling sick and was very dizzy and that she thought she had food poisoning from something she ate in the cafeteria. The nurse asked her what else she had eaten and she said gummies. We asked to see the box, which had been tossed in the trash after it was empty."
Officials at the state charter school soon learned the candies were filled with THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
After an announcement on the school’s public address system, five other students who had eaten the candies came forward.
Teachers called the students’ parents, paramedics and authorities. Nobody had lasting effects.
"We were very lucky," Del Curto said.
‘It’s going to become more and more of an issue’
The edible marijuana gummies belonged to the student’s grandfather, Del Curto told the Journal.
It’s not clear if any charges will be filed, but Albuquerque School of Excellence turned the incident "into a teaching moment for all of us – staff and students.”
School officials called an emergency meeting to give a crash course on the dangers of edible marijuana.
"We reminded them that this is why we have a policy of no food or drink from homes," she said.
Twenty-nine states, in addition to the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico, allow the medical use of marijuana.
"As marijuana becomes legal in each state it’s going to become more and more of an issue I believe," Del Curto told KRQE.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that edibles can lead to poisoning and serious injury.
"Eating foods or drinking beverages that contain marijuana have some different risks than smoking marijuana, including a greater risk of poisoning," the CDC said. “It is also important to remember that marijuana affects children differently than adults.”