‘Several’ schoolchildren were rushed to hospital after eating gummy sweets laced with cannabis, police say, issuing an urgent warning to parents in south London.
The pupils, from the Sutton area, had to receive urgent treatment after suffering side effects on March 12, while officers have warned of others falling ill since then.
The sweets look like normal gummy bears or similar treats but are infused with cannabis and cause a similar effect to smoking it.
Police have warned parents over the dangers of cannabis infused sweets, which have left a number of children in hospital
While no-one has ever died as a direct result of cannabis, users or those who have never taken the drug can misjudge doses, especially when eating it, and suffer side effects like vomiting and panic attacks (stock pic)
While no-one has ever died as a direct result of cannabis, users or those who have never taken the drug can misjudge doses, especially when eating it, and suffer side effects like vomiting and panic attacks.
Police have now issued a warning to parents and said children caught with the weed sweets will be referred to them.
It is not clear exactly how many youngsters have been affected.
One school in the area, Greenshaw High School, shared the police notice on its Twitter account.
The warning said: ‘There has been an increase in young people buying what at first appear to be regular jelly sweets, gummy bears or similar sweets.
‘These sweets are not what they appear to be. They are in fact mixed with cannabis and have a detrimental effect on those eating them.
Police have now issued a warning to parents and said children caught with the weed sweets will be referred to them
‘Sadly, a number of school pupils in Sutton have been either made very ill or hospitalised as a result of eating them.’
Cannabis is illegal for recreational use in the UK, although it can be prescribed for medicinal purposes.
Some MPs have also said recently they believe the drug could become fully legalised in just a few years.
Cannabis is illegal for recreational use in the UK, although it has been available on prescription for medicinal purposes since it was approved by the Government in July 2018.
Doctors are able to prescribe medicine derived from marijuana, but the decision to must be made by a specialist doctor – not a GP, the Government rules.
At the time of law change, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid (2018-2019) said: ‘Following advice from two sets of independent advisors, I have taken the decision to reschedule cannabis-derived medicinal products – meaning they will be available on prescription.
‘This will help patients with an exceptional clinical need.’
Cannabis is illegal for recreational use in the UK, although it can be prescribed for medicinal purposes
Mr Javid added it was ‘in no way a first step to the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use’.
It came after he granted an exceptional licence for Alfie Dingley, then six, and Billy Caldwell, then 12, to use cannabis for their epilepsy.
Possession of the class B drug still carries an unlimited fine and up to five years in jail, while dealers face 14 years in prison.
Some products that might claim to be medical cannabis, such as CBD oil or hemp oil, are available to buy legally as food supplements from health stores.
But there’s no guarantee these are of good quality or provide any health benefits.