Trinidad: Police investigate marijuana edibles in schools

(TRINIDAD NEWSDAY) – THE police’s Child Protection Unit is investigating three reports of children ingesting marijuana found in food items they consumed.

A statement from the police said the incidents took place in the Central and Northern Divisions.

According to the police, five children from Chaguanas ate brownies a student brought to school as part of Valentine’s Day celebrations, while one child from Couva bought the item from a vendor outside the school.

The affected students were taken to hospital where they were attended to and discharged.

In Arima, one week ago, two students consumed marijuana in a suck-a-bag, police said. One child bought the item from a man she found on Instagram and then bought two of the items for $50, at the Arima Dial.

Police said she shared the items with a friend at school. They had to be taken to hospital after.

The Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools recently expressed fears of cannabis reaching the classrooms.

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 decriminalsation 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 minister said.

He added that sensitisation 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).

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