Police discover e-cigarette with THC at Augusta High School, make arrest

AUGUSTA, Kan. The Augusta Police Department Thursday says officers made an arrest after discovering an e-cigarette with THC at Augusta High School.

Police say a student reported seeing two fellow students vaping in a bathroom. One student was found with the e-cigarette. Police also found an electronic cartridge that tested positive for THC.

Police arrested the student found with the e-cigarette and later released that student to his parents. The school resource officer at Augusta High School says so far this year, police have confiscated five e-cigarette devices, but Thursday was the first time officers found one that had THC.

Police in Augusta also arrested an adult for distributing e-cigarettes that contain THC. The Augusta school district says it's taking several steps to prevent e-cigarettes from coming into schools. The district says it's making sure parents know what to look out for, but has also added K-9s to conduct random searches at schools.

It's an effort the district says, can help any student that may have an issue with substance abuse.

"We encourage kids to report, that's the biggest thing," August Public Schools Superintendent Matt Ward says. "We need to know what's going on, and often times, it's concealed so we don't know. And so we have a variety of ways for people to report, They can report to police, crime stoppers... We have an anonymous app called "Fight Song."

The news from Augusta comes as the Center For Disease Control reports an increase in the number of vaping-related illnesses. New figures out Thursday show there are 530 confirmed or probable cases of lung issues linked to e-cigarettes.

Vaping-related illnesses have been linked to seven deaths,
including one in Kansas.