Detroit schools plagued by marijuana edible problem, superintendent warns

The Detroit schools' superintendent is calling for more restrictive packaging for marijuana edibles as well as funding for better detection systems for weed products like gummies and vape pens.

He sent the request to the state's top leaders after the district noticed a surge in drug-related infractions largely related to cannabis products.

From 2021-2023, the district has reported 1,735 instances, dwarfing the 289 reported instances between 2019-2021. 

"The trend is unacceptable and calls for immediate policy intervention," said Dr. Nikolai Vitti, the district superintendent said in a letter. "A week of school rarely passes where a student is not taken to the hospital due to intentional or unintentional consumption of edibles."

The email to state leaders, which included Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Mayor Mike Duggan, Chief James White, and U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, included an image of some of the edible packages they've found.

Vitti noted their labels are too similar to candy packaging.

"The enclosed image captures part of the problem - in some cases marijuana edibles are indistinguishable from regular candy brands, misleading our students and facilitating the ease of their distribution within our schools," the email read.

Edible packages. Photo via Detroit Public Schools Community District.

Unless a fix comes, more disruptions at school are likely, he warned.

Since it's legalization as a recreational drug for adults, the Cannabis Regulatory Agency, which enforces state rules about selling and buying marijuana products, has cited companies for issues with the amount of THC in the product, as well as not making it more clear what was in the product.

There have also been more instances of kids bringing pot to school.