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Five California high school students fell sick after eating marijuana-laced brownies in October, police said.

Youth Buying Marijuana School BusThe teens, all studying at Crawford High School in San Diego, were treated at a local hospital and were listed in stable condition as of late October. The incident happened Oct. 23, when each of the youths ate a cannabis brownie, school officials said.

The students reportedly ate the brownies at about noon, became sick, and told school staff what they had done. They were then transported to Rady Children’s Hospital, also located in San Diego. Linda Zintz, spokeswoman for the San Diego Unified School District, told reporters staff called for emergency assistance at 12:30 p.m. and sent the students to the hospital with paramedics.

U.S. schools are designated drug-free zones

Zintz said the district didn’t know yet where the brownies came from or whether they were consumed on campus. Public schools in the United States are designated as “drug-free zones,” meaning the source of the brownies could face especially harsh penalties for poisoning the teens.

Crawford Principal Richard Lawrence contacted parents after the incident, using a voice message to tell them that the five students were sent to the hospital as a precaution after eating marijuana edibles, and that they were in stable condition.

“Please take the time to speak to your son or daughter about ingesting food from other people,” Lawrence said in the message. “Students should not take nor eat food from others regardless of how it may appear. Drugs come in different forms and formats and there’s also concerns about unknown allergens. We must be proactive for the sake and safety of all students. We are following up on this matter and proper actions will be taken as we take seriously the safety and health of all of our students.”

Rules for California MMJ

Marijuana Smoking TeenMarijuana is legal in California, but only for medical use. The state’s voters adopted MMJ at the ballot box in 1996, the first to do so. The program has been loosely regulated since its conception, a fact that made cannabis widely available and easy to get.

Medical cannabis is legally restricted to adults and to children with a short list of serious conditions. But children have little difficulty getting their hands on the drug, whether from shady MMJ providers or via the state’s black market.

All that should change, soon. Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed legislation imposing new rules on MMJ for the first time since it took effect two decades ago. Among other things, the new law will make it harder for teens to obtain marijuana.

Full legalization is also likely to arrive within the next few years, and that, too, could come with new rules preventing youths from buying cannabis. A ballot item is expected on the issue next year, and polls have showed support is strong among voters.

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About the Author: Matt Brooks

Matt is a journalist from San Francisco who has specialized in marijuana policy for more than six years.

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