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GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) – Filled with fruity flavor, some vape cartridges contain enough concentrated THC to send you to the emergency room, having a psychotic episode.
Gloucester Township police seized about 3,000 such marijuana oil cartridges during a traffic stop last week.
Just as illegal as the leaf form of pot, three out-of-state men now face a slew of charges – but that’s not why police held a news conference Thursday morning.
“Perhaps, most importantly, we strongly want to encourage parents to speak with their children about vaping and the ease at which they can ingest marijuana with these devices,” says Gloucester Township Police Chief Harry Earle.
Cleverly labeled “pendemic,” drug experts says such vape products as these are heading in the direction of creating a pandemic in schools.
A 2016 Surgeon General report showed a five-year increase of 900 percent in teen use of electronic cigarettes and vape pens.
Timber Creek High School Principal Kasha Giddins says she and other school leaders throughout the country are in a battle against vaping products that are discreet, appeal to teens and can contain drugs.
“If you have something that smells like pineapple or blueberries and you go into the bathroom after the student used the bathroom you might just think it’s body spray,” explains Giddins.
Police and school officials say they need parents help to teach kids about the dangers of vaping, especially since marijuana cartridges are becoming more available, not only from illegal producers but from other states where marijuana is legal.
And since New Jersey is considering legalizing pot, teens could have even greater access to the drug.
“Our approach today is to get parents to talk with children and that’s the first step before if and when legalization happens in New Jersey, we need to have this issue under control before that happens,” says Earle.