Students are using vapor pens, or "vapes," to secretly smoke marijuana in class at Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Colo.
Vapor pens are supposed to be used for e-cigarettes and can be legally bought for $25.00. By using a vapor pen, there is no "skunk" smell of pot (video below).
Are the teachers aware of this? Students say "no," but the principal says "yes."
“I’ve seen people in my math class and they’ll be sitting there with the teacher and they’ll be smoking it and they won’t even know,” student Jack Maestas told CBS Denver.
However, Lakewood High School principal Ron Castagna says, “Teachers are aware of what to look for. The nervous habit of biting on your pen has a new meaning to it."
Tim Martinez, the school's security supervisor, explained how the vapor pens work: “You can use them for weed, hash oil. Pens that come with capsules with weed in them, melts the plastic and cooks the weed."
Ironically, vapor pens were marketed to help adults stop smoking, but are being used by teens to start smoking pot.
“A kid could use it anywhere, passing between classrooms, in the bathroom quickly,” Phil Boissiere, a San Francisco psychotherapist, told NBC Bay Area.
Boissiere says teens are vaping at school, but also at home in front of their parents as a part of a weird "game."
“Without mom and dad catching on,” added Boissiere. “There are bragging rights, hide where you can, pull it off, who you can do it in front of without getting caught.”
There are even “vape meets” where users show off their vapor pens, which are becoming accessories for teen girls.
“It’s like if you’re pulling out lipstick, you want to look like you match,” stated Candace Garcia, a counselor for students in Santa Clara County. “So with this e-cigarette or vaporizer pen, if it’s hot pink and you have a hot pink purse, it looks cool. So I’ve seen it a lot.”