School districts throughout the United States have included electronic cigarettes in their anti-tobacco policies, but some have taken it to another level by listing the devices as drug paraphernalia. While using tobacco on a school campus can get you a detention, using an e-cigarette in some school districts could net you a long suspension, drug testing and possession of drug paraphernalia charges. And drug charges could go on your permanent record and keep you from getting into a college.
States, such as North Carolina, New Jersey, Washington, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania are grouping e-cigarettes with the likes of bongs and pipes which makes sense because the devices can be loaded with more than just flavored liquid nicotine. Used as a drug delivery device, electronic cigarettes or vape pens can be loaded with THC or liquid hashish (hash oil), as well as liquid synthetic cannabis. A particular synthetic drug sold over the counter and used in vape pens just recently sent several Michigan high school students to the hospital, one in critical condition.
E-cigarettes or vape pens are easily hidden and using them, whether with liquid nicotine or THC oil, produces very little smell. Students have been known to use them in school or in class behind the teacher’s back without getting caught.
While “the National Association of State Boards of Education doesn’t have an official policy on e-cigarettes, the executive director said she believes the group would recommend that the devices be treated as tobacco products.” Unless, of course, the district is having a problem with the devices, “then sending a really clear message may be a good idea.” It is always best to use good judgment and discretion, according to the NASBE executive director.
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