PADUCAH — We're seeing a vaping epidemic with teens across the country, and now they're bringing them into schools. Some are using vaping pens for marijuana. McCracken County Public Schools Superintendent Steve Carter sees more vaping devices in schools every week. They found an e-cigarette that can vaporize marijuana at the high school on Thursday.
"It's a drug violation. We're treating it like a drug violation, with THC and marijuana, the same type of level of consequence and turning it over to local law enforcement," said Carter.
Detective Ryan Norman with the McCracken County Sheriff's Department said they handle these vaping devices like any other marijuana charge.
"You enforce it like any other criminal statute," said Norman. "It's still THC, which is the active component in marijuana, so it's still possession of marijuana, and it's still possession of paraphernalia."
Carter encourages parents to be on the lookout for the devices because they're very easy to conceal, and even look similar to a normal pen.
"Parents just need to be aware that we don't want these things in the buildings at all," said Carter. "We don't want to promote the use of those things, so we're trying to be as proactive as we can and get the message out that these things are not acceptable."
Carter said parents and students also need to be aware of the negative health impacts the chemicals in these devices can have. The school board is bringing in test kits for their resource officers when they find vaping devices. Carter said those kits allow them to test the devices to see if they're being used for marijuana.