So This Is What They Meant by Bake(d) Sale
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So This is What They Meant by Bake(d) Sale!

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This post was originally published on April 17, 2014.

It all started out innocently enough—just a typical teenage girl with the dream of wearing a beautiful dress to her senior prom. There on the outskirts of Sac-town, 18-year-old Saira Munoz hosted a bake sale so she could raise enough money to get a fetching gown.

Bake Sale Gone Bad

But what makes Munoz’s story a bit less typical is the measures she took to afford that dress—namely selling pot brownies and hiring an underage friend to hock the wares. Unfortunately for Munoz, this wasn’t just an exercise in poor judgment; by employing a minor, she turned her fundraising into a felony, putting her at risk of being sent back to her country of origin (Mexico).

But I imagine that for a high school student nowadays, the idea of getting entrepreneurial with pot isn’t as ludicrous as it might have been 10 years ago. As states continue to decriminalize minor marijuana-related offenses—some legalizing it for medical use, some just making it outright legal—it sends a clear message that weed isn’t really a serious drug and certainly not as bad as your parents say it is (if they even say that). And while I don’t wholly disagree with the legalization of marijuana, we have to acknowledge the effect that our changing attitude about pot in this country might be having on young people, ones who—if they grew up in a place like California—might not remember a time when pot was actually seriously illegal. This would certainly explain the kind of laissez-faire outlook required to believe that dealing drugs is a viable option for earning shopping money.

Stale Brownies

What’s kind of scary is that Munoz might have gotten away with her pop-up business if one of her customers hadn’t had an adverse reaction to the product and needed to be rushed to the hospital. And unfortunately, with the growing popularity of THC-based edibles, we’re now seeing more and more kids who might have felt too druggy-ish smoking a joint or sucking from the chamber of a bong who now have a more, uh, digestible option in pot cookies, brownies, popcorn and lollipops. While the upside might seem like a kindler, gentler introduction to drug experimentation, the downside can be emergency rooms and even death.

Thankfully, no fatalities have been reported as a result of Munoz’s let’s-get-baked bake sale but stories like this make it hard to ignore the trend of eating pot amongst novice users. I can’t claim to know what’s going on with drug education in schools these days but if we haven’t done so already, it might be time to flip the script on drug education. It might be time to get real and explain to kids the difference between smoking and eating marijuana. And while we’re at it, we could also inform them of the difference between legal and illegal, misdemeanors and felonies and when you should just opt for a hand-me-down as a prom dress.

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About Author

Danielle Stewart is a Los Angeles-based writer and recovering comedian. She has written for Showtime, E!, and MTV, as well as print publications such as Us Weekly and Life & Style Magazine. She returned to school and is currently working her way towards a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves coffee, Law & Order SVU, and her emotional support dog, Benson.