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Marijuana Cookies Lead to Felony Arrest

According to reporting in the Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore school’s staffer has been accused of selling or giving cookies containing marijuana to students. The original report had Clyde Tatum, the alleged “baker” arrested after students in a local school were treated and released from the hospital. The students, ranging from 6 to 12th grade, were thought to have ingested the drugged cookies.

The felony charges stem from further investigation by Baltimore Police. Officers searched Tatum’s home and found a handgun. Tatum has a prior drug conviction (cocaine) as well as a weapons conviction. It was not reported on whether he had undergone a background check before being employed by the school or allowed access to students.

While it may seem a trivial thing or a prank, giving marijuana foodstuffs to unsuspecting kids is no laughing matter. First, it takes intent – the drug has to be extracted in a “butter” before it can be incorporated into baked goods. It isn’t a matter of dumping some leaves into the batter. Second, when someone unknowingly is dosed with a psychoactive compound, they can mistake the feelings and experience for actual mental illness or other disease condition. And finally, some of the students in that age group are driving – they could very well be at risk if the level of intoxication interferes with their ability to drive safely.

Tatum has not yet been convicted of any crime. He is being held on $350,000 bond. Further, the police have not yet published a lab analysis on the cookies. It is possible they contain no active marijuana at all – although this seems unlikely. Finding a handgun at his residence adds a great deal of substance to the charges. A crime committed while in possession of a firearm automatically becomes more serious. Tatum, who has a previous conviction shouldn’t have access to a gun anyhow. The Sun reported the .38 revolver “was on a fireplace mantle, within easy reach of his children.”

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