Weslaco ISD Reiterates Drug Policies after Marijuana-Related Incident
WESLACO – This week, the Weslaco Police Department made an arrest after a Weslaco Independent School District student reportedly ingested marijuana brownies to the point of which they felt they were uncomfortably under the influence.
According to the school district, one student was detained by Weslaco police. Authorities confirm this was in connection to pot-laced brownies.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to Weslaco ISD to confirm details about the situation students may have been exposed to. They declined an interview, but did issue a statement stating in part:
“Because this is on-going investigation, Weslaco ISD will not comment in an effort to ensure the confidentiality of the student involved and the integrity of the investigation.”
When asked about the district’s drug enforcement policy, again, we were given a statement stating in part:
“An active security department exists on all campuses … the district works closely with the Weslaco Police Department.”
Friday morning, CHANNEL 5 NEWS found Sgt. Bernie Garza with Weslaco police at a symposium on tackling drug problems seen in jails and emergency rooms from the Rio Grande Valley to across the nation. We asked him about drug abuse in local schools.
“I can’t say that there’s been an increase or decrease,” Garza said. “I know there’s always some cases that occur every year.”
Garza said district schools are supposed to report any and all incidents involving marijuana, drugs and paraphernalia to the police department.
Data from the Texas Education Agency reveals in the 2015 – 2016 academic year, Weslaco ISD saw eight instances of felony controlled substance violations and 157 instances of controlled substance and drugs.
For 2014 – 2015: seven instances of felony controlled substance violations and 202 instances of controlled substance and drugs.
2013 – 2014: five felony violations, 246 instances
2012 – 2013: 19 felony violations, 176 instances
2011 – 2012: 17 felony violations, 233 controlled substance and drug instances.
Garza emphasizes the importance of kids taking care of themselves.
“It’s easy to say yes and go with the peer pressure,” Garza said. “It takes a stronger and better person to say no and stand up for what you believe.”
Marijuana is classified as a misdemeanor drug.
Paraphernalia like rolling papers or a pipe are classified as a Class C misdemeanor – a $500 maximum fine in municipal court. Any useable amount of the drug containing THC, even if it’s altered in food or vape oil, is a Class B misdemeanor.
Those caught could see county charges and possible juvenile court depending on the age of the student involved.
Weslaco ISD said they encourage their families to talk to their children about the dangers of drug abuse.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS asked the district if they notified parents. They told us it's not their policy to inform parents other than the parents of the students involved on internal discipline issues.
The following is a full statement from Weslaco ISD Superintendent Dr. Priscilla Canales about the incident.
The second statement sent from Weslaco ISD about their drug enforcement policy:
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