Police still probing edible cannabis incident at Sarnia high school
By: Louis Pin
Police are still investigating the suspected distribution of illegal cannabis edible products at a Sarnia high school dance in December, one that sent multiple students to hospital.
Right before the Christmas break, Dec. 21, ambulances rushed to Alexander MacKenzie high school after reports of “illness” were reported to police by school staff. Two students were taken to hospital and a third was kept at school until their parents could pick them up. A parent of one of the students later said her daughter was hospitalized as a result of a cannabis edible product.
Though cannabis is legal in Canada as of October 2018, cannabis edible products — such as cannabis-laced brownies and gummies — are still illegal.
Monday, investigating officer Const. Dave Schoch said police are still trying to identify what happened at the high school.
“We can’t really confirm anything yet,” Schoch said, adding some of the details are still fuzzy. “It was one girl who had some type of edible and she shared it with three of her friends.”
A representative from the Lambton-Kent District school board confirmed smoking or otherwise consuming cannabis on school board property is not allowed, even for people over the legal age of consumption. The board did not comment on the Dec. 21 incident.
No report was made public to parents after the dance. The board representative said in most cases the board works with students and parents “on an individual basis” unless a broader safety concern is identified.
Mother of one of the hospitalized children, Mary Jo Ritchie McLean, said her daughter, one of the girls rushed to hospital, made a full recovery. It’s more important to stop cannabis from entering the school than to inform parents after the fact, she added.
“I want it stopped before it gets into the school in the first place,” Ritchie McLean said.
Separate from the incident, school board trustee Jack Fletcher said he hoped the school board would continue to promote education surrounding cannabis now that the substance is legal.
“There certainly is a push to do more education in terms of the dangers and harm (of cannabis),” Fletcher said. “I’d be willing to ask the question at the next board meeting . . . what steps are we taking to ensure that we do the best possible (job) we can?”