Did you hear about the three third graders who were caught smoking marijuana in the rest room of their elementary school last week? That’s right, I said third graders! Two eight year old’s and a nine year old were busted for smoking weed! Who would have thunk it? I mean that’s so freakin’ young to be aware of drugs and how to use them. Of course, bringing drugs to elementary school is nothing new. In fact kids as young as a 4 have been caught bringing pot, cocaine, crack and other drug paraphernalia to school with them to show their friends.
Several teachers have gotten way more than they bargained for after innocently asking their students to bring some important family items for show and tell. Can you imagine show and tell time in the kindergarten classroom with all the kids sitting on the floor watching as little Johnnie pulls out his dads’s crack pipe and a bag of rocks and innocently proclaims “this is my dad’s favorite pipe and what he likes to smoke in it!” Yeah that must have been special! In nearly all of those cases the student didn’t realize what they were doing. But this time the boys were actually caught in the act of smoking marijuana. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard of kids so young actually doing drugs in school. It blows my mind! But then if 60 is the new 50 maybe 8 must be the new 13!
I realize that 13 may sound a bit young to be smoking pot but recent surveys suggest that more and more kids are experimenting with pot at a younger age. The average age appears to be around the middle school years of 12 -14. My how times have changed. I remember my first experience with weed was the “summer of love”1967, just before my junior year in high school. Yeah it sorta gave a whole new meaning to the term “high” school. I was 16 years old and full of teenage angst, restless and bored and very very curious. Pot smoking was highly visible all over the news as coverage of Haight Ashbury hippies, love ins, be ins and other festivities often showed young long hairs puffing on joints in a very “in your face” fashion. Yeah I had to try it. Now kids half that age are getting high. Unbelievable!
Pretty sad really, 8 years old with nothing better to do than get high. I gotta tell you when I was eight years old smoking anything was inconceivable! I didn’t have the faintest idea what marijuana was. My mom smoked Newport cigarettes and in those days the idea of second-hand smoke was nonexistent so believe me, we got our fair share. Smoking was something adults did and that was that. Come on, at 8 I was still interested in being a cowboy and had my Maverick Brothers six guns just like the ones in the picture. Hell I was still playing marbles, and playing war games with my little green army figurines on my bedspread battlefield or trying to create a masterpiece on my Etch-A-Sketch. I was never really very good at it except to draw straight lines but believe me, I tried. I was also outside playing 3 flies up in the street with my friends, hide and seek, tossing the Frisbee or climbing trees. And on Saturday mornings I got up early to watch cartoons. Yeah I was much too busy being an 8 year old kid to think about much else, besides I would have taken the terms “smoking weed,” “smoking grass” and “smoking pot” literally, and all three would have seemed like really stupid ideas.
How did this trio of third graders wind up acting out the Motley Crue music video “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” and what happens next? How do you deal with third grade pot smokers who were caught in the act of smoking and had a pipe, lighter and a small amount of marijuana in their possession. The police initially took them in for questioning then later released them to their parents. Because the school district has a zero tolerance drug policy we’ll have to wait and see what action police and school officials decide to take. Under California law, no one under 12 is usually charged with a crime, but they could be subject to juvenile justice proceedings and counseling. A big question being asked is whether or not it was their first time or not? Police said they seemed to have very little smoking experience and didn’t appear to be high so this may simply be boyhood curiosity. Really?
So what do you think? Do you agree that it’s simply a case of boyhood curiosity? Next they’ll be excusing the boys from culpability because they’re too young to know right from wrong. I don’t think so. These students broke the law, they defied school policy and irregardless of their young age need to face some sort of a consequences for their actions. I only hope that the pot didn’t come by way of the parents and that even if the authorities choose to let this one pass, the parents deal with these boys in an appropriate manner.