Police caution growing use of THC pens

Published 2:17 pm Friday, August 30, 2019

Bainbridge Public Safety officer Ronald McMillan arrested two men Tuesday morning after pulling them over and finding large amounts of marijuana, along with vape pens containing THC oil.

Driver Johntavious Bush and passenger Deuntray Thomas were driving towards Rivers Apartments when they crossed the center lane and were pulled over. McMillan made contact with Thomas and Bush at the vehicle where he smelled a strong odor of marijuana. He asked the men if there was anything in the vehicle or on their person. Bush confirmed he had marijuana on him and six vape pens under his seat.

Vape pens have become increasingly popular among young adults, but the ones containing THC oil are especially dangerous and can put those inhaling the oils at risk.

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Investigator Chip Nix said the vape pens are not something new they are seeing; they became increasingly popular about a year ago. However, the marijuana oil pens are something parents need to become aware of, he said.

“The oil is potent and can be deadly,” Nix said. “We’ve already seen a couple of kids go to the ER because of it.”

Although parents may not be able to distinguish the difference between a regular vape pen and a marijuana pen, for kids it can be pretty obvious, Nix said.

“The pens are appealing to kids and suggest and promote the use of marijuana,” he reiterated.

When officers are unsure if a pen is being used for illegal purposes, Nix said they will do a field test on the scene, but usually those using them have other illegal narcotics with them, as in the case on Tuesday.

Although marijuana is illegal and smoking it is dangerous, Nix said inhaling the pen is more dangerous.

“Depending on the oil, kids can hit it once and be high or hit it twice and end up in the hospital,” he said.

As with any drug, Nix said kids never know when the oil could have something else laced in it.

“You’re always taking that chance that something else is mixed in,” he said.

Nix hopes the arrest of Bush and Thomas draws attention to the issue of these pens that are being targeted towards young adults and becoming an increasing trend.

Both men have been charged with possession of drug related objects, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession, sale, manufacture or distribution of marijuana.