By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
On two separate occasions, marijuana edibles found their way inside the walls of an Oshawa elementary school, most recently on May 14.
According to the Durham Regional Police, a Grade 6 student brought baked cookies to class as a treat. However, after consuming the cookies, four of the students reported feeling “dizzy and euphoric”. Following this, on May 16, police were called by officials from the Durham District School Board (DDSB) to investigate the incident.
The investigation found that the cookies had been made by a parent with a proper marijuana license. When some of the cookies were taken by an older sibling without permission, they somehow ended up in the Grade 6 student’s backpack.
As part of the investigation, the Children’s Aid Society was called in to conduct a review.
However, as it turns out, this wasn’t the first time the unnamed elementary school encountered such an incident.
Police say that in a completely separate occurrence a week earlier, THC-infused gummy bears were consumed by four students in Grade 7 and 8. Similar to reports from the latest occurrence, the students reported feeling “dizzy and euphoric” after consuming the snacks.
“It is unknown how the child came into possession of the gummy bears, as they were not made at home,” the police state.
Following the release from the DRPS, the school board drafted a statement that was released later on May 22.
“There is nothing more important than the safety of our students,” it begins. “Both incidents were brought to the attention of the school administration. The school administration followed our Police-Board Protocol reporting both incidences to police. The situations were dealt with quickly and efficiently by both school staff and the Durham Regional Police Service.”
Further, the DDSB note that the DRPS Youth Officer continues to monitor the situation.
“It is important to know these are isolated and separate incidents,” the statement continues. “DDSB schools work proactively to educate students on the negative effects of drug use, misuse and abuse. Drug use by students is a serious matter and is dealt with as such through progressive discipline and police intervention as necessary.”
The issue also found its way inside the Oshawa council chambers later that evening, where council was holding its regular meeting.
Following a presentation from the Durham Region Health Department on a separate issue, Mayor John Henry raised the issue of a potential education campaign on the topic of weed edibles following the two incidents.
However, according to Dr. Robert Kyle, the commissioner and medical officer of health for the Durham Region, plans are currently not in the works for such a campaign.
“Our focus is really on the Cannabis Act and particularly the role we will have to play,” Kyle states. “We would respond to situations as you described on a complaint type basis. If there is a role for Public Health to play, we would respond accordingly.”
In their statement, the DDSB also referred to the pending legalization of marijuana, set to occur later this year.
“Pending federal legislation has not had any impact on how schools are dealing with incidents involving marijuana,” the board states.