Elementary students accidentally eat marijuana candy at school

ALGODONES, N.M. – At least 14 Algodones elementary students went to the hospital Monday after a classmate shared THC candies with them.

School representatives didn’t give their exact ages, but they’re all ten or younger.

"I’m not surprised by a lot of things anymore because there’s so much accessibility to so much but in this case I’m a little bit dumbfounded by how quickly it came about,” said Bernalillo Public School Superintendent Matt Montaño.

They told an adult at the school they were feeling sick after all eating the same candy.

"Not to be unexpected that this could happen but to happen so quickly after the law went into effect on Friday was a bit surprising for me,” said Montaño. "I feel like I’m a little on my heels on it and I’m disappointed not to be able to be a little more proactive about this."

The New Mexico Poison Center warned about this risk prior to legalization, especially when it comes to products that mirror candy.

"Edibles are edible and they’re attractive,” said Dr. Steven Seifert, the medical director of the NM Poison Center. “They’re going to attract children as well as adults to consuming them."

Seifert, however, says this situation could’ve been much worse if a different drug was involved.

"Cannabis is not a very dangerous drug in general,” said Dr. Seifert. “And it does not have the same kind of health threats that many substances that are out in the community have."

However, marijuana does still present specific risks to children.

"These products are dosed for adults, so you take a child who gets an adult dose of cannabis and they’re getting a much larger amount of drug for their body weight,” said Dr. Seifert. "Their airways are smaller, softer, more easily compromised, and then perhaps more susceptible to the central nervous system depression effects of cannabis."

This incident has sparked another reminder for adults to keep this newly-legal drug out of kids’ reach.

"This is a psychoactive drug that needs to be kept away from them just as you would keep other medications, alcohol, and any drugs that might be in the house,” said Dr. Seifert.

Children who have taken marijuana could experience symptoms like slower awareness, and balance and coordination issues.

The NM Poison Center is always a good source for information and guidance. You can always reach a professional at (800) 222-1222.

The Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office is handling this investigation, and as of now, a representative says parents will not face criminal charges because it appears it was an accident, and no kids were seriously hurt.