A Michigan woman is facing a child abuse charge after several kindergartners became sick, leaving more than a dozen sick and five hospitalized, when her child took her marijuana edibles to school, authorities said.
The Genesee County Sheriff's Office said the incident occurred last week at Edgerton Elementary School in Clio.
In a Facebook Live video released Tuesday, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson and Clio Area Schools Superintendent Fletcher Spears III said the woman left the edibles in a LifeSavers package in a refrigerator.
Her 6-year-old child took the package to the school Friday and other students ate them, they said. The woman has not been identified but was expected to turn herself in on Wednesday to face a second-degree child abuse charge, Swanson said.
"We understand that mom probably just made a mistake here," Leyton said. "Nobody’s saying she’s a criminal. She made a mistake, but it’s a mistake that has caused a lot of havoc."
The woman purchased a jar of liquid THC oil in August 2021 and made her own marijuana gummy edibles, Swanson said.
"She packed them in a package that no toddler, let alone an adult, would probably pick up and think ‘Oh these are normal,’" he said. "And that's where this started."
Leyton said that while it's legal to make edibles, it's not legal to store them where children can easily access them. She created what the law calls an "attractive nuisance," he said.
"It’s just like a gun in your house. It’s just like a prescriptive drug in your house," he said. "You’re not going to let your child have access to that. You cannot let your child have access to the edibles that are so readily available today."
Authorities were initially called at 1 p.m. Friday to the school after several students reported feeling sick. Students were evacuated and investigators ruled out the air, food and carbon monoxide as the cause.
"Well, I can tell you that medical professionals across the country will tell you that with today’s THC concentration, it is absolutely probable that it can be toxic to the point of death," Swanson said. "This can actually cause death in the highly concentrated ingestion of young people, people that are compromised."
In an April 30 letter to parents from the school, the district said five kindergarten students were taken to the Hurley Medical Center in Flint. The woman has other children and Child Protective Services will receive a referral in the case, authorities said.