New Britain middle schooler allegedly distributes marijuana edibles to classmates

Published: May. 30, 2023 at 10:01 PM EDT|Updated: May. 31, 2023 at 6:53 AM EDT
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NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) - A New Britain middle schooler brought edibles to school and gave them out to their fellow classmates, school officials said.

In a letter sent out to parents, Slade Middle School’s interim principal Andrew Mazzei said the student distributed the edibles during the day on Tuesday.

Mazzei said school staff was made aware of the incident and acted quickly by notifying New Britain police.

School officials said they have been working closely with New Britain police and will take appropriate action towards those involved in the incident.

“We will continue to uphold a zero-tolerance policy towards drug use at our school to ensure the safety and well-being of all our students,” Mazzei wrote in the letter.

Also in the letter, school officials asked parents to check their children’s bags on a regular basis.

“I know that incidents like these can be scary for students, parents, and our staff members. However, we will always take seriously any threat to student safety,” Mazzei said.

This incident was concerning to the school but on a broader scale, officials are worried about where kids are getting edibles.

“I definitely think you need to be safer especially around the kids,” said Andrew Chasse of New Britain.

Chasse was picking up his relative from Slade Middle School.

I wouldn’t want my children to be part of that stuff so,” Chasse said.

There’s a plea to parents making sure kids can’t get ahold of edibles.

“Definitely if it’s around kids you should be careful with that ya know,” said Chasse.

The principal asked parents to search their child’s bag on a regular basis to make sure they’re not carrying something to school that could be a danger to themselves or others.

There is concern children even younger than middle school age are getting their hands on marijuana edibles.

Dr. Suzanne Doyon with the Connecticut Poison Control Center believes in some cases parents are buying them legally but not keeping them safe from kids.

“Don’t treat it as candy. Don’t call it candy don’t ingest it in front of your child and say I’m ingesting candy or whatever. Do those things away from your child so that the child doesn’t observe it witness replicate. And then keep them in a child resistant container,” Doyon said.

Children can also accidentally ingest cannabis products.

With marijuana sales now legal, it could happen more often.

In 2017 there were 200 cases nationally. In 2021 it jumped to more than 3,000.

“I’m very concerned. It’s very scary,” said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.

Tong is cracking down on bodegas and smoke shops illegally selling edibles and failing to ID people, potentially selling to teens.

He said parents have a responsibility too.

“I think people are not being careful. It’s not just parents, guardians, aunts, uncles but maybe other adults, older brothers. People not being careful,” said Tong.

Tong said he will be cracking down on these smoke shops and bodegas.

He said he has five ongoing lawsuits against shops that have sold marijuana illegally.