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Meriden, Conn., police and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) were called, after a 4-year-old special needs preschooler pulled out marijuana to share with his classmates at snack time.

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The child’s teacher at Hanover Elementary School told investigators that she witnessed the child pulling out nine individually wrapped bags of marijuana out of his jacket pocket, then announce that he had snacks.  The bags reportedly had been prepared ready for sale.

The school’s superintendent, Mark Benigni, said that the children in the classroom did not get to see the drugs, because a teacher, who was in close proximity, was able to quickly take the bags away from the child.  Benigni told the Record-Journal:

Our concern is for the 4-year-old student who had no knowledge of what he was bringing to school, Benigni told reporters. The student is safe, and we will continue to ensure a safe learning environment to all of our students.

Law enforcement and DCF are investigating the case and there have been no arrests made thus far.  According to Benigni (pictured left), and the school’s principal Miguel Cardona (pictured right), it is crystal clear that the child is certainly not at fault.  Investigators have identified the child’s mother but no information has been released to the press.

News One spoke to renowned pediatrician Jennifer Shu, M.D., co-author of the book “Heading Home with Your Newborn” regarding the ingestion of the drug and its effects on children.  “If the children would have ingested any of the marijuana the effects can be similar to smoking it which include relaxation, sleepiness, sluggishness, red eyes and a dry mouth, even though with ingestion, the onset of effects is usually slower than with smoking. There may also be a fast heart rate, increase in blood pressure, and an increase in a child’s rate of breathing. If the marijuana is mixed with other drugs, there may be a chance of seizures, stroke and sudden death. Children are likely to be more sensitive than adults to the effects of marijuana and other drugs since they are smaller.”

While the incident is being investigated, the superintendent plans on sending out an alert about the incident to all parents so that they can dialogue with their children about safeguards while in school.   


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