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Cops May Charge 12-Year-Old for Selling Brownies

Fresno authorities plan to charge a 12-year-old – a 12-year-old – for selling pot brownies at school.

The boy, a student at Sequoia Middle School in Fresno, brought his older brother’s marijuana-laced brownies to class and sold them to at least one other student, police said. That student became so ill hospitalization was required. The student recovered.

It’s hard to imagine a 12-year-old with the criminal guile to sell drugs to classmates with malicious intent. Even if the kid was trying to make a profit, he’s hardly a sociopath.

Yet the school could expel him, and possibly even the student who got sick. Parents and police are constantly looking for excuses to treat juvenile delinquents like adults, with similar penalties.

To put the incident in perspective, consider that an adult selling the same brownies to other adults probably wouldn’t be charged under California law. The boy faces delinquency allegations rather than adult criminal charges, but the penalties could ruin his life all the same.

The boy, who wasn’t identified because of his age, told police he stole the pot brownies from his older brother, who has a California medical marijuana card. The state doesn’t require patients to get the cards, but they’re often used as proof of medical necessity in arrests and other legal proceedings.

Authorities didn’t explain why they planned to pursue charges against the boy despite his age. They also didn’t explain what kind of penalties he or his brother might face. The brother used his prescription to treat back pain and kept the brownies in the refrigerator, police said.

The case broke after a parent brought her unconscious child to the hospital Oct. 29. Doctors determined the student was high on cannabis, and the incident was reported to police.

The next day, authorities said, they found the young seller with a plastic container full of marijuana brownies, each wrapped for individual sale. It wasn’t clear whether the brownies were purchased in wrappers or were wrapped by the boy’s brother.

Police predictably used the bust as an opportunity to tout their claims that cannabis destroys lives – and fuel their endless fight to roll back reform.

Marijuana Handcuffs“It does happen, and especially with the marijuana cards now and people being allowed to do that, you see it more,” said Lt. Joe Gomez of the Fresno Police Department. “Sometimes kids that are seventh graders are involved in the game and getting into drugs already, but by looking at that kid he didn’t appear that way at all.”

Fresno is notorious as the most difficult place to grow pot in California – at least when the police are looking. Ironically, its size and sparse population make it one of the most popular grow sites in the state.

About Matt Brooks

Based in San Francisco, Matt is a journalist who has specialized in marijuana policy for more than five years. He provides regular news coverage on marijuanaandthelaw.com and californiamarijuanamarket.com.

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