Durban - Two pupils, caught with cannabis oil on school premises, will not be reinstated as the appeal process has been concluded. This is according to school management at Ashton International College in Ballito, north of Durban.
The two pupils, one in Grade 10 and the other in Grade 11, were expelled after being found to have contravened the school's code of conduct, which prohibits pupils from bringing to school, consuming, distributing or testing positive for drugs or alcohol on or off the campus and at any school function.
In a statement, released in response to a media report on the matter, the school said the incident had taken place on October 19. “The student in question (who is a minor) illegally brought cannabis oil to the school and had given it to another student who used the substance illegally, in front of other minors, in the Senior College ablution facility.”
In another statement issued at the weekend, again in response to media reports, the school revealed that before the start of the disciplinary hearings, the cannabis oil, which had been confiscated, had been sent for analysis and a report showed it contained “extremely high” levels of THC, one of the cannabinoids found in the dagga plant.
“This report was returned with the following results: CBD 3.76%, Cannabinol (CBN) 1.26% and THC (43.79%), a total of 48.81%.”
The school said it viewed the matter in a serious light.
“Even though legislation is being changed, the use of cannabis oil is for medical purposes and may only be used in your own home and not in the presence of a minor. Ashton continues to educate the students and parents about the dangers of drugs, alcohol abuse and social media platforms,” the school said.
In response to an allegation that some matric pupils had not been punished for a similar offence, the school said there had been no evidence to show that the pupils had used substances on school premises.
“Therefore, we had no evidence to sanction these students.
"For this reason they were reported to the SAPS, after internal disciplinary investigations, that issued them with a warning - this warning was not issued by Ashton,” read the statement.
Kirthi Thaver, the chairperson of the Cannabis Development Council of SA, said just like cough syrup, which can be bought at a pharmacy, cannabis oil could also be abused by teenagers.
“Wherever the individual got that cannabis oil, if they were properly advised, they should know that you cannot keep it within reach of children,” he said.
Thaver, who runs a medicinal cannabis dispensary, said the oil was used to treat a number of ailments, including cancer, eczema and Parkinson’s.