After emergency personnel were called to treat a group of students from James Lick Middle School, the San Francisco Unified School District confirmed that the young peoples' symptoms “were consistent with marijuana intoxication”.
“Based on the current evidence and symptoms, health professionals suspect the students consumed cannabis,” the district said in a statement.
A container labelled “medical cannabis” had been confiscated, the district said. It was unclear how the cannabis made its way to the students, but some students told KTVU they had eaten rainbow-coloured candies.
The district noted that bringing drugs and alcohol onto school grounds violates school and district rules. A San Francisco Police Department spokesman said the department had not launched a criminal investigation.
“There’s nothing that’s pointing towards any criminal issues,” Officer Robert Rueca said, adding that if the school district believes “a criminal investigation needs to be conducted then we will assist in that matter”.
California voters approved adult recreational cannabis use in 2016, and the first retail stores opened their doors to people who are 21 and older in January. During the campaign, opponents warned legalising the substance would expose more young people to the substance and inflate teen consumption.
The law includes multiple safeguards intended to protect against underage use, including restrictions on advertising and on opening stores near schools and strict childproof packaging requirements. Stores that sell to people under the age of 21 can lose their licenses, and some of the revenue from marijuana sales will fund youth prevention programming.
The marijuana legalisation movement has spread steadily across the United States, making the substance legal to possess in a handful of stares that are home to some 70 million people combined. Medical marijuana is available across an even larger swathe of the country.
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