Police warn parents of marijuana in e-cigarettes hitting schools

Print
Email
|

by Scott Evans

KREM.com

Posted on March 12, 2014 at 7:41 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 12 at 10:16 AM

BOISE – Marijuana, it's now popping up in a different form and in high schools across the country, including Idaho. It’s happening with marijuana in e-cigarettes.

"To think that Idaho is exempt from it, we're far from it. We've run into cases already in the city of Boise, multiple cases in the city of Boise," said Boise Police Officer Jermaine Galloway.

E-cigarettes are still something fairly new, but gaining a lot of popularity. They're electronic cigarettes that emit vapor that's inhaled. Most of the time they contain nicotine, but now there's a growing number using them for illegal drugs.

So far, there have been a handful of cases in Boise where police have arrested people using these e-cigarettes to smoke marijuana. Galloway worries we're at the beginning of this problem and it's about to get worse.

If there were an expert in Idaho when it comes to knowing and understanding this new market of electronic cigarettes and marijuana - it would be Galloway.

"It's very, very different than anything we've seen before," said Galloway.

Galloway took some time to talk to KTVB and show us what's happening here in Idaho, but is happening much more in other states.

"When they're using it for marijuana it is very stealthy, it is very discrete and they can use it in close proximity to you and especially if you're outside, there's a good chance you would never realize marijuana was even present," said Galloway.

One man told NBC New York that he smokes pot in his e-cigarette during his commute on the subway and no one has any idea.

Like nicotine, the vapor that is emitted is practically odorless.

"I've heard people say they've used it in movie theaters, I've heard people say they've used it in restaurants," said Galloway.

While there is no data on how many teens are using e-cigarettes or vaporizers to smoke marijuana, a recent U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention report showed that the percentage of middle and high school students who smoke e-cigarettes with nicotine and other additives in them more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, jumping from 4.7 percent in 2011 to 10 percent in 2012.

"We'd love to be able to tell parents look for A, B and C every time, but we can't,” said Galloway. “And this is what we're dealing with now and it's still evolving. We're going to have much, much more next year.”

But you can watch for the e-cigarettes. They're illegal for anyone under 18 to even own, regardless of how they're used. They're also illegal in schools. Galloway says school officials have and will continue to take them when they see them.

"We're a little bit behind in finding out about this, as we always will be. A trend will show up and then law enforcement starts to figure it out," said Galloway.

As with anything when it comes to our kids, we need to know what to look for. When it comes to e-cigarettes, if the substance in the tank is in an oil, herb or wax, it is likely marijuana. Right now nicotine is only in a liquid form.

Regardless of the form, marijuana is illegal in Idaho.

Print
Email
|