A South Carolina elementary school teacher faces criminal charges and has lost her job after a pupil in her class pulled a package of cannabis edibles from a box of treats intended as prizes to reward students. Victoria Farish Weiss, 27, of Lexington County, South Carolina, was arrested on Friday morning after turning herself in to authorities, according to media reports.
Weiss allegedly told authorities that she had brought a bag of candy from a Dollar General store to the classroom to fill a box used as prizes for students, according to a report from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, as cited by a local television station. On September 23, two students were permitted to pull prizes from the box. One of the pupils selected a Dum Dums lollipop, while the other grabbed a package labeled “Stony Patch Kids,” believing they were Sour Patch Kids.
Weiss told the student with the Stony Patch Kids to choose something else. However, the student still ended up with a pack of the marijuana gummies, according to a statement from Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon posted to Facebook on Friday.
“Detectives confirmed during interviews that Weiss took the pack of edibles from the student and told him to pick something else from the box,” Koon said. “The student went back to the box and happened to grab another pack of edibles.”
After he received the prize, the unidentified student went to an after-school daycare program and asked a teacher to help him open the package of Stony Patch Kids. According to a police report, the daycare teacher noticed that the candy was not actually Sour Patch Kids, declined to open the package for him, and called the student’s school, Rocky Creek Elementary School, to report the incident instead.
The assistant principal at the school then went to Weiss’ classroom and found more of the marijuana edibles in the prize box. When the assistant principal confronted Weiss about the edibles, she became “hysterical,” according to the police report.
“No student ate any of the products,” Koon noted.
Search of Teacher’s Home Reveals More Edibles
Deputies then obtained a search warrant for the teachers’ home, where “investigators found packs of edibles similar to those the student picked from the box in Weiss’ classroom,” Koon said. Each package of cannabis gummies contained 350 milligrams of THC, according to the product label.
Although much of the nation has enacted cannabis policy reforms, South Carolina is one of the few states that still have no provisions for legal cannabis, even for medicinal purposes. Additionally, the Lexington County Schools employee handbook specifies that workers are not permitted “to manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, be under the influence of or use on or in the workplace any illicit drug such as a narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana or any other controlled substance.” According to school district officials, Weiss is no longer employed by the Lexington School District One as of October 13.
“The safety of our students is our top priority,” said Dr. Greg Little, the superintendent of the school. “It is unacceptable for a staff member to potentially threaten the wellbeing of a child. We will continue to work to ensure all of our children have a safe environment to learn and grow. Rocky Creek Elementary has a sterling reputation which will not be tarnished by the actions of one person.”
After a warrant was issued for Weiss’ arrest, she turned herself in to the sheriff’s department on Friday. She was detained for a time at the Lexington County Detention Center before being released on a personal recognizance bond. Weiss has been charged with possession of a Schedule I drug.
A.J. Herrington is a San Diego-based freelance writer covering cannabis news, business, and culture.