Great Mills Man Charged with Reckless Endangerment After Five Spring Ridge Middle School Students Overdose on THC-Laden Candy

January 22, 2018

On Tuesday, January 2, 2018, Corporal Hartzell of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office investigated a suspected drug overdose involving five Spring Ridge Middle School students in Lexington Park.

After conferring with school staff and witnesses, it was determined the five students ingested edible gummy candy suspected of containing the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (known as “THC”), and another major cannabis ingredient, cannabidiol (known as CBD). Both THC and CBD are considered Schedule I drugs by the federal government.

The students were transported to the MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital to receive treatment.

After interviewing all relevant parties, police interrogated Owusu S. Kanipe, 46, of Great Mills, the father of the female student who brought the tainted candies to school. Kanipe admitted the edible gummy candy belonged to him and that the candies were given to him by an associate who came to his house for a party. Kanipe told police he placed the candies on  top of a dorm refrigerator in his bedroom, citing knowledge that his daughter had been entering his bedroom without his permission and taking things.

Police concluded Kanipe left the THC and CBD-laden edibles in a place that a juvenile could easily access. Kanipe’s juvenile daughter was then able to obtain the candies, take them to school, and distribute them to her classmates. Those juveniles then consumed the edible gummy candy, which caused a reaction requiring medical treatment.

Police charged Owusu with one count of misdemeanor reckless endangerment.

Kanipe is due in St. Mary’s County District court on March 2, 2018, for a preliminary hearing.