Sonora, CA — The Sonora Police Department has released new details on the three Sonora Elementary students caught smoking pot. Sonora Police Chief Mark Stinson says they do not know how or where the two 8-year-olds and a 9-year-old got the pot. However, if someone gave it to them they could face charges.
“The investigation is still continuing so it will depend on what our investigation leads to, but there could be charges for contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” says Chief Stinson.
When asked if the parents of the students could face legal issues, Chief Stinson replied, “It’s possible.” The incident happened last Thursday morning just after 11 at the school. Police report the third graders were smoking the marijuana in a school bathroom when another student walked in. That student told school officials, who then contacted police.
Chief Stinson says, “They were in possession of a pipe.” He added he does not know how much of the drug they had on them. In regards to whether the student young age is a surprise, Stinson says, “Yes and no, I’ve seen kids as young as 10 before with possession of marijuana or smoking.”
The incident has garnered media attention not only nationally, but internationally as well with a London Newspaper picking up the story. The investigation underscores concerns that legalizing marijuana for recreational use by adults in California would make it easier for minors to gain access to pot in the future, to which Chief Stinson responded, “Until we conclude our investigation we have no idea of how they came into possession of this, so I can’t say one way or another.”
California in 1996 became the first of 20 U.S. states to allow marijuana use for medical purposes. A Field Poll and information about an upcoming ballot measure is in the news story State Marijuana Vote.
Chief Stinson says the students are cooperating with the investigation. There is no word on what discipline the students could face.