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Marijuana: Are students getting high in school using vape pens or smoking something else?

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Video and more below.
Vape pens used to smoke marijuana aren't new: We wrote about a dispensary giving them away to chemotherapy patients back in 2012. But with the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, the concept has gone mainstream in a big way thanks to the way the devices mask much of the scent and smoke long associated with lighting up. No surprise, then, that a report has surfaced about students stealthily smoking pot in school using vape pens. But how serious is the problem at this point? Perhaps not as bad as teens using the device to smoke tobacco.

This week, CBS4's Rick Sallinger brought the vape pen issue front and center with a report focusing on Lakewood High School.

In the piece, Sallinger chats with several students who talk about weed-related vape pen use in class. He also quizzes the school's principal, Ron Castagna, about telltale hints teachers and staffers are on the alert to notice.

These include students who may look as if they're chewing on the caps of other pens -- the sort used for writing.

Are schools other than Lakewood High also experiencing difficulties related to vape pens and pot? We checked with Lynn Setzer, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County School District, of which Lakewood High is a part, and she says that "according to our discipline office, they are seeing an increase of students using e-cigarettes and vaporizers and hookah pens."

However, Setzer adds, "Most of the time, they're using tobacco in those e-cigarettes, so I'm not sure how widespread the use of vaporizers for marijuana is."

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Lakewood High School principal Ron Castagna as seen in the CBS4 report.
Discipline for students caught using e-cigarettes and the like varies widely depending upon what's in them.

Setzer references the Jefferson County School District code of conduct, which we've shared below. The tobacco section, which begins on page twenty, notes that the possession and use of tobacco by students is prohibited on Jeffco school property. However, the code encourages administrators to consider "educational alternatives to suspension, to provide comprehensive interventions, for student tobacco policy violators."

In contrast, vape pens using marijuana products like hash oil fall under the drug and alcohol policy, which begins on page nine and is among the largest portions of the code. In such cases, law enforcement is informed, with schools also meting out five-day suspensions for purchase, possession, use or being under the influence after first and second offenses over a three-year period. And as in baseball, strike three is a likely out. The policy reads: "The student may be expelled upon the third offense and all subsequent offenses within any three-year period. If an expulsion is not requested, a minimum suspension of ten days will be imposed for this offense and any subsequent offenses."

At present, Setzer acknowledges that Jeffco schools have not been overwhelmed by vape-pen pot smoking in classes. But she says administrators and teachers alike are very aware of the possibility.

Let that be a lesson to you. Here's the CBS4 report, followed by the aforementioned code of conduct.

Jefferson County Schools Code of Conduct

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Marijuana archive circa August 2012: "Medical marijuana dispensaries giving free Vape-Pen to chemotherapy patients."


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37 comments
navapers
navapers

Since when does an ecig/vaporizer have tobacco in it?


Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

What makes you think the teachers aren't "vaporizing" with the wee ones?

Emilia Brunch
Emilia Brunch

highschool? im pretty sire shools are tabacco free zones...college is a.totally different.story.

Zach Sheesh
Zach Sheesh

As big of a problem as kids drinking in school?

Pablo Luis
Pablo Luis

I wish I had VAPE pens when I was in school :/

Patrick Esser
Patrick Esser

Vapepens and concentrates are expensive. Should we blame the parents for too hefty of an allowance?

Sher Quintana
Sher Quintana

First off kids that smoke weed in school have been smokin it outside the classroom..but now they can sneak and do it inside..they are being rebels of course..sense they are breaking the rules and the laws...NO ELECTRONIC CIGS AT ALL!!

Sydney Vitae
Sydney Vitae

I have never seen one on the Auraria campus. I go to UCD & none of my profs would let that fly, whether it was nicotine or not. And just a suggestion, but wouldn't attending class stoned be a bit of a waste? Not only of your education, but your marijuana. Who would want to bother?

Che Harness
Che Harness

I could never justify allowing kids to smoke in class... but I used to ditch class to smoke, so at least they're sticking around. I also don't see suspension from class as punishing, except to the child's future.

Pete Copeland
Pete Copeland

Question: are kids getting high at school with vapor pens. Answer: of course they are.

Ash Taylor
Ash Taylor

You can smell and see vapor. If a teacher isn't able to identify a student smoking in class, well then they are straight up sensory deprived. If a kids dumb enough to smoke in class and get caught, well fuck him, obviously he's got a bunch of great life decisions ahead of him to make

Bubba Ecsd Kush
Bubba Ecsd Kush

^ Pam Pam Stiffler needs to release some tension. Got beat your own kids or something you old hag.

Pam Stiffler
Pam Stiffler

Little dumb fucks...IN the classroom? Start with some bitch slapping...twits 1st..,teachers 2nd for not noticing anything in a vape pen being consumed in their classroom(s)...nicotine or otherwise.

Jimmy Coz
Jimmy Coz

omg potheads would never do such a thing :/

Sandra Brooks
Sandra Brooks

Everyone knows the schools got all the drugs.

Kendra Wiig
Kendra Wiig

Students should not vaporize substances during class. The end.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

This must be an example of the "reduction" in teenage pot use that LYIN' Brian Vicente, MENDACIOUS Mason Tvert and BULLSHIT Betty Aldworth promised would happen with A64.



Monkey
Monkey

e-cigaretts don't vaporize tobacco, so students aren't violating any tobacco rules, right? On the other hand, THC is a controlled substance, so vaporizing any amount of THC would be violating their drug policy, right? I guess the schools need to come up with some new policies. I would suggest treating all vaporizers, regardless of what's in them, the same.

ma1111
ma1111

No.  Because alcohol is deadly and cannabis is not.  Anyone who says differently is either wholly uninformed, a liar, or an idiot.  

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Good question, Zach. Thanks for posting.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... so make your own.


... oh wait! ... the LYING LIARS who wrote A64 and helped concoct the myriad REGULATIONS that favor their Greedy Big $$ Dispensary clients deliberately DENIED individual user any right to process their own marijuana into concentrates -- under Criminal Penalty of Law!

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

You make some strong points, Sydney. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Interesting post, Che. Thanks.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Strong post, Ash. We're going to feature it as an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Funny post, Michael. Thanks.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey  "e-cigaretts [sic] don't vaporize tobacco, so students aren't violating any tobacco rules, right"


e-cigs vaporize a solution of nicotine, propylene glycol and aromas/flavors. 


The nicotine is derived and extracted from tobacco, just as the THC in vape pens is extracted from marijuana as hash oil, then mixed with the same propylene glycol to make the THC cartridges sold in pot shops.


Too bad A64 didn't "legalize" marijuana LIKE TOBACCO, eh?




Monkey
Monkey

@DonkeyHotay  I didn't know the nicotine was extracted from tobacco, I assumed it was synthetic. But that makes sense considering big tobacco is now making e-cigs. And they are convincing the feds to start "regulating" them like tobacco, so the small companies that started the e-cig trend will have a harder time competing. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey


           *** Regulation Works !! ***


... for fools who crave the FIST of Government being repeatedly jack-hammered up their subservient sphincters.



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