Handbook cracks down on vaping

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Screen Shot of BSM 2019-2020 Student Handbook

This year vaping devices are considered drug paraphernalia. This change means that the punishment for possessing a vaping device has become more serious than in the past.

Sophie Ludwig, Social Media Manager

Recently vaping has become an issue not only at BSM but across the country. Handlers of any vaping device have the ability to fill their devices with many addictive substances, making them very difficult to regulate. Being aware of this problem, BSM has decided to crack down on vaping by making changes to the handbook. Vaping devices are now considered drug paraphernalia.

Because of this change, the punishment for being caught with a vaping device is more strict than previous years. The adjustment to the punishment came as soon as students were able to fill a vaping device with any addictive substance. “The change is that last year if it was a vape pen or something, but it only had nicotine in it or a tobacco product, so it would go under tobacco. But since most of them are made now that you can actually fill them, [users] can fill them with whatever, and we have no idea what is in them. [The vape companies] made it so much easier to fill with any sort of chemicals in there,” Assistant Principal Cami Dahlstrom said.

[The vape companies] made it so much easier to fill with any sort of chemicals in there.”

— Assistant Principal Cami Dahlstrom

BSM is not the only one who made changes to their handbook, the state of Minnesota also revamped their procedure. Minnesota State High School League now places vaping under the drug category. “The rule actually coincides with the Minnesota State High School League rule. If you are found with a vaping device, it falls under the drug paraphernalia, just because you can fill it with whatever. That really is the only change,” Dahlstrom said. 

No matter how old you are, the punishment for being caught is the same, unless it becomes a legal issue. “There is not [an age restriction] because it is within a school. If it was brought to the police attention, then there are different consequences with it, in regards to tobacco or nicotine, not in terms of marijuana,” Dahlstrom said. 

Vaping is a major issue that high schools are facing. BSM hopes that by changing the handbook the administration will have better tools to deal with vaping in the future. For now, the problem continues to grow. “It is becoming [a problem] unfortunately,” Dahlstrom said.