Pinellas students arrested in drug-laced candy incident that sickened 5

GULFPORT, Fla. (WFLA) — Gulfport police have released new details regarding a drug scare at a Pinellas County high school.

The gummy candy that sent several students to the hospital was laced with marijuana.

Three students from Boca Ciega High School are in trouble with the law. Police said they distributed gummy worms laced with THC – or marijuana – around campus Monday.


Two students were arrested Tuesday and charged with a 2nd-degree felony for delivering a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school. Sha’nya Brinson, age 14, and Naya Baydoun, age 15, were charged. Police say a third arrest is pending for the same offense.

Police said one student brought the gummies to school and distributed them to two other students, who, in turn, distributed them to four other students. Police said the students knew they were taking drugs.

One gummy worm was confiscated by the school resource officers and it tested positive for marijuana during a field presumptive test. It is currently being sent to the lab for further analysis.

On Tuesday, parents told News Channel 8 they’re worried the drug is becoming more accessible. “I’m concerned about all drugs and being laced in candy makes it that much easier to get a hold of,” grandparent John Grundon said. “It’s scary.”

Of the seven students who ate the candy, five were rushed to All Children’s Hospital. Dr. Patrick Mularoni said it’s the first time they’ve seen students come in because of marijuana edibles.

“The problem is that edibles take about an hour to an hour and a half to work, so if an individual took one and didn’t feel anything different in 10 minutes, then they might take a couple more,” Dr. Mularoni said.

He said this is a growing problem hospitals across the country are battling.

“In states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, emergency centers have been documented that they are seeing more and more ingestions of marijuana coming for little kids that are getting a hold of these candies,” he said.

Doctors said their are more worried students could abuse the drug because it’s coming in a candy form.

St. Petersburg police put out an alert Tuesday after confiscating treats laced with high concentrations of THC. Police told parents to be on the lookout for suspicious snacks.

District officials said the other students who were involved in this incident could face disciplinary action by the school.



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