SEATTLE -- Teachers are catching more and more kids with marijuana in schools.
“If we caught someone under the influence, it’s nine times out of 10 going to be marijuana,” Ballard High School Principal Keven Wynkoop said Thursday.
In the Seattle school district, there were 131 marijuana violations in just five months. It’s not just high schools. More than a dozen middle schools caught students with pot.
Seattle public schools confiscated all types of products, from marijuana lemonade to edibles packed with a powerful dose of THC.
“Access to those high-level products is new,” said Dr. Leslie Walker, chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital and co-director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program there.
Doctors and teachers are also seeing a trend in kids using vape pens to smoke marijuana.
“They definitely think they can get away with it, they can stuff them into a bag, stuff into a pocket."
It’s just not vape pens -- parents need to know how to spot edibles packaged to look like well-known candies and snacks.
Despite catching kids with marijuana, Wynkoop says, kids need to be educated -- not just suspended.
“The idea of getting treatment and having them actually face their issues instead of just punishing them,” Wynkoop said.
“Marijuana is an addictive substance," Walker said. "They are three to four times more likely to get addicted if you start as a child."
Walker added that the legalization of pot has led to more underage kids believing it's OK to use it. She says that perception is dangerous.
“They think it’s less risky, they think their parents think it’s less risky and the community thinks it’s less risky,” Walker said.
Walker added that marijuana use among teens is detrimental to brain development, memory and motivation.