Marijuana gummies send Polk middle school students to hospital

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Several middle school students were hospitalized Thursday afternoon after eating gummy candies laced with marijuana, Polk County deputies say.

According to the sheriff’s office, a 12-year-old student claimed he ordered the "Green Hornet" fruit pouch gummies online, then gave it to other students during gym class at Mulberry Middle School. Five of them were so sickened that they had to be taken to the hospital.  

"They had stomach aches, they were nauseous, dizzy. One of them was all but passed out," Sheriff Grady Judd explained.

One other student, who may have also eaten the candy, was picked up by a parent to be medically checked out elsewhere.

The boy who handed out the candy claimed he did not eat any himself, Judd said, but he's facing seven felony charges. Any adults who were aware of the gummies could also face charges, though Judd made a point to say the boy's parents are not currently suspects.

Marijuana-infused candies are legal in California for adults to buy, according to Judd, but not for children. They are illegal for anyone to posses in Florida.

"We're concerned about how did a 12-year-old ever come to be in possession of this illegal drug?" Sheriff Judd offered, "and two, why did he offer it to these kids?" 

All of the students are expected to be OK.

"Parents, I ask you, please talk to your children," Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd added. "We want to make sure everyone is safe when they come to school each and every day."