Pontiac Students Hospitalized After Consuming Cannabis Edibles in Class

Published 2 days ago Safety & Education
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Parents of students at Pontiac's International Technology Academy's middle school are being informed via email about an incident where two children ingested cannabis edibles during school hours.

"The fact that the students felt bold enough to consume these edibles in front of a teacher while in the classroom is alarming," said Michelle Broxton, a parent of a seventh grader.

The incident came to light on Thursday afternoon when teaching staff noticed unusual behavior in three students. District officials confirmed that two of these students had ingested cannabis edibles. Emergency medical services were called, and the two affected students were transported to a nearby hospital. According to district officials, they are now in stable condition.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating the matter, and administrative hearings are scheduled for the students involved.

This incident is part of a troubling trend of increasing cannabis edibles consumption in schools nationwide. Kimberly Leverette, Ed.D., interim superintendent, addressed this growing issue in a statement to 7 News Detroit on Friday.

"Unfortunately, this is a challenge faced by districts everywhere," Leverette stated. "Superintendents across our region are working tirelessly to find solutions to this significant concern. It's rare for a week to pass without hearing about a similar case in another district."

Leverette emphasized that while the district is continually enhancing security and safety measures, preventing such incidents entirely at the school level is challenging. "This issue extends beyond our school walls and requires broader societal change," she added.

The problem is not isolated to Pontiac. Just two weeks ago, Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, Ed.D., highlighted a similar increase in his district, with students using vape pens and consuming cannabis edibles. Vitti sent a letter to elected officials, including Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, outlining his concerns and proposals.

"As the Superintendent and School Board of Michigan's largest school district, we feel compelled to address the escalating issue of cannabis edibles and vape pen usage among students," Vitti wrote. "Since the legalization of cannabis, our district has observed a troubling rise in drug-related infractions."

Vitti proposed stringent laws requiring all cannabis edibles to be clearly labeled, not just their packaging. He also suggested that manufacturers should be prohibited from using packaging that mimics non-cannabis candy to prevent confusion. Additionally, Vitti advocated for funding to equip schools with detection systems for vape pens and cannabis, financed by the profits and taxes from cannabis sales.


Flavor Galaxy LLC Infused Pre-Rolls Recalled Over Safety Testing Failures

Published 5 days ago Safety & Education
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The Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) of Michigan has recently issued an important safety recall for 1,098 units of infused pre-rolls manufactured by Flavor Galaxy LLC, based in Hazel Park, under license number AU-P-000373. This action comes as part of the CRA's ongoing commitment to ensuring consumer safety and regulatory compliance in the cannabis industry.

The recall was initiated after the CRA's investigation revealed significant lapses in the product testing processes at Flavor Galaxy LLC. According to the agency, the company failed to submit these specific batches of infused pre-rolls for the mandatory final product testing. Records from the state's cannabis tracking system, Metrc, indicate that while the raw marijuana flower used in these pre-rolls underwent safety compliance testing for potency, the final products—which include added cannabis distillate and terpenes—were not tested post-infusion.

The implicated products were sold between November 25th, 2023, and May 6th, 2024. Consumers who have purchased any Flavor Galaxy LLC infused pre-rolls during this period should refer to the recall bulletin to verify whether their purchases are affected by this recall.

In addition to the recall, the CRA has also issued a product advisory bulletin. This bulletin addresses further issues with Flavor Galaxy LLC's tracking practices, highlighting that the company improperly tracked multiple batches of both pre-rolls and vape cartridges in the Metrc system. These batches were found to have added cannabis products after they had been initially sampled for compliance testing by a licensed laboratory, thus evading full compliance checks.

Consumers experiencing any adverse reactions from these or any other cannabis products are urged to seek immediate medical attention and report these incidents to their health care providers. Such reactions should also be reported directly to the CRA using the Adverse Reaction Form or by calling 517-284-8599.

For more information about this recall and general safety guidelines, consumers are encouraged to visit the CRA's official website at www.michigan.gov/CRA.



Ionia County Hosts Town Hall to Discuss Youth Substance Abuse

Published 1 week ago Safety & Education
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A town hall meeting is scheduled in Ionia County to address concerns regarding underage drinking, vaping, and cannabis use among the youth. The event will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, May 17th, at the Ionia Armory Community Center located at 439 W. Main St.

Organized by the Ionia County Health Department in conjunction with the Ionia County Substance Abuse Initiative Coalition, this adults-only gathering aims to enhance awareness and foster community involvement in tackling substance abuse issues. Charlean Hemminger, the coalition's coordinator and a health educator at the Ionia County Health Department, highlighted the town hall's support from state and federal grants, including the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Drug-Free Communities Grant.

Matthew VanCamp, who joined the Ionia County Health Department as the Drug-Free Communities Grant Coordinator earlier this year, emphasized the significance of the event for parents. He noted that the town hall offers an excellent platform for parents to learn effective communication strategies with their children concerning alcohol, nicotine, and vaping.

The keynote speaker, Cara Ludlow, assistant director of wellness and counseling services at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University, will address the challenges faced by children today and the importance of parental engagement in their lives.

Attendees who participate in a survey at the event will be rewarded with a voucher for the Taqueria El Azteca food truck or a gift card to a local restaurant, highlighting the importance of community feedback in such initiatives.

Through this event, organizers aim to galvanize community efforts to reduce substance abuse among the county's youth by empowering parents and providing access to community resources.


Alarm Over Cannabis Edibles Marketed Like Candy: Detroit Schools Seek Intervention

Published 2 weeks ago Safety & Education
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Detroit school district leaders are voicing their concerns about a troubling trend: the increasing use of cannabis edibles and vape pens among students. In a letter addressed to state lawmakers, Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Nikolai Vitti and school board members highlighted the urgent need for legislative action to combat this issue.

The letter revealed startling statistics that show a significant rise in drug-related incidents within the schools. From the 2019-20 to the 2020-21 school years, the district recorded 289 drug-related incidents. This number dramatically increased to 1,735 incidents between the 2021-22 and the 2022-23 school years, with 745 infractions reported just this school year.

Vitti and the board members are particularly concerned about the accessibility and appeal of cannabis products to students, noting that some edibles are packaged to closely mimic popular candy brands, making them nearly indistinguishable from non-cannabis products. This resemblance not only misleads students but also simplifies the distribution of these products within schools. An accompanying image in the letter shows edibles packaged similarly to well-known candies like Skittles and Starburst.

The leaders are calling for several specific safety measures:

  • Mandatory clear labeling on edibles to distinctly indicate the presence of cannabis.
  • A ban on packaging that mimics the appearance of non-cannabis candy.
  • Allocation of funds for schools to acquire detection systems for vape pens and cannabis, with the funding sourced from cannabis sales and taxes.
  • The launch of a public awareness campaign financed by cannabis legalization revenues to educate the community about the importance of securing edibles away from children and the potential risks children face when they have access to these products.

Additionally, Attorney and DPSCD parent Marcia Spivey shared her concerns, emphasizing the need for better coordination between city leaders and school officials, particularly regarding the impact of local cannabis legislation on families and students.

The district's plea underscores a growing concern in educational environments about the implications of cannabis legalization and the necessity for targeted legislative responses to protect students and ensure the safety of school environments.


Health Concerns Mount as Delta-8-THC Gains Popularity Among Teens

Published 2 weeks ago Safety & Education
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Approximately one-third of high school seniors in the United States have used cannabis in the past year, according to recent findings from the Monitor the Future study conducted by the University of Michigan. This annual survey provides insight into the substance use trends among American teens, drawing on data collected from 22,318 students at 235 public and private schools nationwide from February to June 2023.

In addition to traditional cannabis use, the study revealed that about 11% of 12th graders have experimented with delta-8-THC, a psychoactive compound derived from hemp and known for producing a milder, euphoric high compared to delta-9-THC found in cannabis. Despite its legal ambiguity and availability in child-friendly forms such as gummies and chocolates, delta-8-THC is legally accessible in 22 states plus Washington, D.C., often with minimal regulatory oversight.

The widespread legal status of delta-8-THC can be attributed to the 2018 Farm Bill, which excluded hemp from the federal list of controlled substances, inadvertently making derivatives like delta-8-THC widely available, even to minors in some states. This availability has raised concerns among health experts about the potential risks associated with its use, especially among teens.

Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, emphasized the significant number of adolescents using delta-8-THC and expressed concerns about the lack of research on its effects. "The accessibility of such substances to teens is alarmingly high. We need to educate young people about the risks and ensure that those who need help can access treatment for cannabis use disorders and other mental health issues," Volkow stated.

The study also highlighted the changing perceptions and increased potency of cannabis products. Ryan Sultan, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, noted the need for a nuanced understanding of cannabis's effects. He pointed out that while cannabis is not the dangerous "reefer madness" substance once feared, it is also not a harmless cure-all. Sultan's research indicates that adolescents using cannabis are significantly more likely to suffer from major depression, suicidal thoughts, and other negative outcomes compared to their non-using peers.

Furthermore, the use of cannabis among young adults aged 19 to 30 has reached new heights, with a notable rise in cannabis vaping, which poses distinct health risks and increases the ease of use in discreet environments like schools.

This comprehensive data underscores the importance of continued research into cannabis and its derivatives, informed public health policies, and targeted educational efforts to address the complexities of cannabis use among America's youth.



Questionable Substances Detected in Michigan's Cannabis Market

Published 3 weeks ago Safety & Education
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In recent findings by a Michigan-based cannabis testing laboratory, alarming concerns have been raised about the safety and transparency of cannabis oil used in vape pens and edibles. Josh Swider, CEO and co-founder of Infinite Chemical Analysis Lab, reported that more than a third of the tested products contained harmful substances not disclosed by the manufacturers. These include diluting agents like MCT oil, synthetically altered cannabis oils, and prohibited pesticides.

Swider, whose company operates labs in both Jackson, Michigan, and San Diego, California, emphasized the severity of these findings. He highlighted that unsuspecting consumers are likely unaware they are inhaling or ingesting products that may not be as pure or safe as claimed. Such transparency issues are concerning, particularly when the substances involved include synthetically converted THC oil, which is the psychoactive component in cannabis responsible for its high effects.

The impetus for these tests originated from a Michigan group dedicated to cannabis safety, which remains unnamed. They commissioned Swider's lab to develop specific tests to detect these substances, revealing significant issues with product purity and labeling in the industry. The presence of MCT oil, a common carrier oil derived from coconut oil, was notably contentious. While generally recognized as safe for food, its inhalation poses potential health risks. This has led to its ban in inhalable cannabis products in several states, including Colorado, especially following the outbreak of vaping-related lung diseases in 2019.

The synthetic conversion of CBD to THC, another process detected in the tests, is akin to pharmaceutical manufacturing and remains controversial. While not explicitly labeled as unsafe, the lack of definitive safety data makes it a risky inclusion in consumer products, according to Swider.