Watch those “cookies” and “brownies” in schools. Some infused with marijuana and Ecstasy pills, known locally as “Zessers”, have been found and are being distributed in local schools, acting National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds said yesterday.
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Replying to Opposition questions in Parliament, Hinds said intelligence sources had revealed the situation. He said the “Zesser” pills, which are a breakdown of the crystals of the hallucinogenic/stimulant drug Ecstasy compressed into a capsule, are being circulated in the system.
Ecstasy is the popular a name for 3-4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a psychoactive drug primarily used as a recreational drug. Effects include altered sensations, increased energy, empathy and pleasure. However, it causes increased heart rate and can cause dry mouth, clenched teeth, blurred vision, chills, sweating, or nausea. It can also make some users feel anxious, confused, and paranoid and may damage brain cells involved in thinking and memory. Other severe effects on organs have also been reported.
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The National Security Minister recently warned against “Zesser” pills which had been noted in circulation locally.
Hinds added: “So far these cookies and brownies have been seized by law enforcement at teenage parties and have been sent to the Forensic Science Centre for analysis. Results are pending,”
He said he didn’t have information at hand on the schools where the items were found. He said the Police Commissioner is liaising with the Health Ministry and action is being taken to ensure that all substances detected in T&T that are not already on the scheduled Dangerous Drugs Act will be added. He stressed that Ecstasy and crystal meth (methamphetamine) will be placed on that list.
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Hinds urged parents to be vigilant against the substances which he said could easily be disguised in all forms of candies that are attractive to children. He also urged children to do the “safe, right thing.”
On another query, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said items which were stored in a San Fernando General Hospital warehouse—recently plagued by a rat infestation—will be sanitised. He assured it wasn’t drugs, but rather paper towels and similar items. He said workers based at that location will be tested for illnesses which rats transmit. The Public Health Department will be called in to inspect whether the rats have migrated to other parts of the hospital.
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Deyalsingh said if the problem can be traced to anyone with responsibility for taking preventative measures, disciplinary action would be taken. But he said the will to do this is necessary since the job of performance appraisals involved having fortitude.