Canandaigua Academy unveils new methods to test for marijuana in vaping devices

Local News

Tools to detect THC in vaping fluids are now being used at Canandaigua Academy as they try to tamp down on marijuana use at the school. 

Vaping and traditional tobacco have never been allowed on the Canandaigua Academy campus. Wednesday’s seminars on vaping and pot were tailored for parents. Superintendent Jamie Farr says it’s becoming an epidemic. 

“I think what was once thought to be less dangerous than a cigarette, I think the research is showing that it’s much more dangerous,” says Farr. 

He adds vaping pods contain way more nicotine, are addictive, and people can easily add elements like THC. “What’s in it? We never had a way to test until now,” he says. 

New drug treating kits allow for marijuana testing, and the school will be checking e-cigarette devices if a student is caught with one. It will be confiscated, not returned, and could lead to suspension. 

Another part of this seminar is called ‘hidden in plain sight’. For parents, it simulates a teenager’s bedroom with 55 pieces of drug paraphernalia hidden in various places, some you’d never even think of. Entire soda cans and Pringles tubes that pop out, pens that come apart revealing hidden compartments…a far cry from illegal substances stuffed under a bed mattress. 

James Warren, with non-profit Council on Alcoholism and Addictions of the Finger Lakes says,
“(Parents) only have five minutes to go through the whole bedroom, but they do find a lot of items and get better at identifying things.”

For those in attendance, the information on vaping, THC and teen life was eye-opening. 

Anne Ceddia says, “They suggested kids can get (marijuana) pretty easily.”

“You have very anxious young adults who are trying to self-medicate,” adds Donna Besler.

Farr says the more the community comes together, the more is shared and more everyone will know. “As we know, marijuana is a gateway drug. More information is a power for us and for families.”

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