What’s really going on in our schools? Part 4: Felony drugs arrests? Really?

A cannabis concentrate is legal for adults, but a felony for kids.
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 6:08 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Our schools are under increasing scrutiny and viewers have been asking us, ‘What’s happening?” So, we decided to look at the data to find out what it has to say about the issues.

There were surprises as we went through page after page listing hundreds of criminal charges from the last year and a half. But there was one which immediately stood out and was disturbing. In sheer number, it led all other crimes, and that was the number of felony drug arrests. That usually means harder stuff, schedule one and two narcotics, dangerous street drugs like meth and opioids.

What was showing up in these numbers, even in middle schools?

It wasn’t marijuana. We’d broken those charges out separately.

It turn out it was something widely available, sold legally throughout the state--cannabis concentrate for vaping. Legal, but not for kids.

“Possession of that is a felony versus having standard marijuana, “ noted School Police Chief Jason Trevino. “The penalty for that concentrated cannabis is much higher.“

For those who don’t vape or frequent marijuana dispensaries, this may come as a surprise.

“Quite often they just think they’re just vaping the stuff from the local grocery store or that they buy over the counter.”

Not to mention committing a felony.

And because it’s legal for those of age, it may be found in many kids’ homes.

“With the legalization of marijuana, it became very much like the standard liquor cabinet where there’s liquor in the house and it’s not necessarily even locked up because it’s no longer a felony. And it’s not okay to say ‘Oh I had no idea that they could vape marijuana. As a parent, you should know those things. As a parent, like I’ve said with anything with drugs, or alcohol or social media, sit down with your kids. Know your kids.”

“These are community-wide issues,” adds Paul LaMarca. the district’s Chief Strategy Officer, “and they of course show up in our buildings. We do everything we can to address it. It is a community issue, It’s a family issue. It’s a school issue.”