For opponents of marijuana legalization, one of the concerns is the potential abuse of marijuana or accidental ingestion of edibles by children and teens. In cases of intentional distribution or consumption of edibles by children, there is the potential for severe criminal charges. This is true even when the distributor is a youth himself.
In a recent case, a California seventh-grader was allegeldy caught selling marijuana-laced brownies at school. Now, the 12-year-old is facing expulsion as well as serious criminal charges. According to media reports, the student accessed the brownies through his older brother, who holds a valid California medical marijuana card.
School authorities discovered the student was distributing marijuana after one of the other students got sick. A parent took her unconscious student to the hospital where medical professionals determined that the student had ingested pot. School administrators sought out the student with pot brownies and found a container of individually wrapped brownies in a plastic container. According to the police department, it’s not uncommon for youth to have access greater to marijuana where the drug is legal. The student who got sick is in the recovery process while the 12-year-old is now facing criminal drug charges.
If it’s later determined the boy’s brother failed to keep the drug in a safe place away from children, he might at some point face civil liability for injuries to other students.
Authorities say the older brother, a 25-year-old with back pain and a medical marijuana card, keeps his brownies in the fridge. The 12-year-old admitted that he stole the brownies without permission and sought to make a profit at school.
Parents whose students attend the same school were concerned about the young age of the dealer and the other students who could have gotten sick, or worse, after ingesting the edibles. School representatives said that both the “seller” and the “buyer” could be suspended or expelled for the drug activities. They will evaluate the history of conduct for both student and will also refer the students for substance abuse counseling.
This case is a reminder of the complexities of California medical marijuana law. Though the medicinal card holder kept the pot legally in his fridge, the young student who sold the marijuana could face serious drug charges. The case also raises questions about the safety of edibles in homes where there are children.
Our Orange County medical marijuana attorneys are committed to staying abreast of the legal issues that impact the lives of California medical marijuana card holders. In addition to helping individuals and dispensaries stay in compliance, we can also provide strategic counsel and defense in the face of criminal charges.
While parents, administrators and local law enforcement authorities want to keep kids safe from drug abuse, advocates for legalization believe criminal penalties in this case are overreaching, especially given the age of the young “dealer.” With more access to marijuana in states where it is legal for recreational or medicinal use, polices should protect citizens without imposing undue or harsh penalties for offenders.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
More Blog Entries:
Getting Started in the Medical Marijuana Industry, May 15, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog
United States Marijuana Laws Influencing Other Countries, February 14, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog