LAKELAND, Fla. (FOX 13) - Felony charges against a boy who allegedly brought pot gummies to his middle school have been downgraded to misdemeanors, according to the child's mother, after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's lab says no illegal drugs were detected in the sample.
The child's mother says her son should be punished for picking up the bag of candies from the street and passing them out to classmates, but she says probation is too harsh for a kid who was just trying to fit in with his peers.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office originally charged the 12-year-old with felonies after he told deputies he ordered the THC-laced gummies online and then gave them to his classmates back in November 2018.
At the time, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said several middle school students had to be hospitalized after they ate the gummies during gym class at Mulberry Middle School.
"They had stomach aches, they were nauseous, dizzy. One of them was all but passed out," Sheriff Grady Judd said in November.
Months later, the charges against the student who allegedly brought the gummies have been reduced to two misdemeanors - culpable negligence and paraphernalia.
His mom says she feels like her son should get some punishment but not probation, which is what he was offered when he faced felony charges. She wants him to go to a diversion program and perform community service.
She also said her son has never been in trouble before, but is now enrolled in an alternative school as a result of this incident.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office said a field test performed on the gummies showed the presence of THC. Despite negative test results from the FDLE's lab, the sheriff's office said it will send the sample off for independent testing.
The sheriff's office said investigators had probable cause to charge the child due to the packaging of the gummies, which read "100mg THC | Indica," and the statement from the child.
A trial in the case is scheduled for Feb. 28.
FOX 13 News reached out to the state attorney's office, which said it can’t talk about juvenile cases.