Joshua ISD officials recently warned parents and teachers to be on the look for popular snack foods enhanced with THC.
THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the compound in cannabis that is psychoactive and gives the feeling of being high. In low doses, the substance is legal in Texas for items such as CBD oils but illegal if the THC content exceeds 0.3 percent.
“Our district was informed by the Texas School Safety Center’s Law Enforcement Division that the drug THC is now available in familiar packaging,” JISD Director of Communications and Public Relations Zoheb Hassanali said.
The release includes pictures of nacho cheese Doritos, Cheetos Puffs and Airheads Xtremes candy bags.
The products for the most part resemble actual bags of those products.
“The biggest difference with these packages is the label, which includes a ‘THC’ placed on the corner of the package,” Hassanali said. “Along with the label listed on the back of the package.
“These items can be purchased from the internet on familiar websites and delivered directly to your front door.”
Other products, such as a bag of Weedtarts pictured in the release, are easier to distinguish though still similar to the actual product being mimicked.
“These drugs can be easily overlooked as they closely resemble the real item,” he said.
Cleburne Police Chief Rob Severance said he saw the same bulletin last week.
“I’m aware of it,” Severance said. “I don’t think we’ve had occasion to run across these products yet but we’ve gotten word out to our officers, especially our school resource officers.”
Severance reminded residents that such products are illegal in Texas.
Johnson County Sheriff Adam King said he’s not surprised by attempts to mask illegal drugs.
“Most people wouldn’t even think about it if they saw someone eating what looked like just a bag of Doritos or Cheetos,” King said. “Which is why, unfortunately, parents should be on the look out for these things. We had the same problem a while back with the THC-laced gummy bears.”
The packaging of such items is in attempt to cater to children, Johnson County Stop the Offender Program Special Crimes Unit Commander Larry Sparks said.
“It’s the same with the gummy bears packaging,” Sparks said. “Or the vape pens, which tend to be more popular with kids.”
Such products nonetheless appeal to adults as well, Sparks said.
Sparks said he and his officers are aware of and have run across those and other faux products such as Rice Krispies Treats.
“This isn’t those actual companies putting these out,” Sparks said. “These are people in Colorado, California, places where marijuana is legal doing this stuff.”
Such products are either purchased in those states and brought to others or sold online.
“Or situations where someone knows someone in Colorado or one of those states where it’s legal and sends them money to buy these products then mail it to them,” Sparks said. “The thing is, anyone using the mail to deliver these things is committing a federal offense because it’s not legal in any state as far as the feds are concerned.”
Sparks joined others in warning parents to be aware of such products.
JISD officials added that the district maintains a zero-tolerance policy for drugs on campus.
“We ask parents to please be on the lookout for these packages,” Hassanali said. “The health and safety of our students and staff remain the highest priority; and together, we can help prevent the presence of drugs in our homes and schools.”