Two Mills undergraduate students accidentally consumed marijuana-laced cookies that had been anonymously placed in a Mills staff member’s mail box in Rothwell Center on Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 4:15 p.m. While one student took one bite and stopped, the other student ate the entire cookie, unaware that the cookie was tainted.
The person who placed the cookies in the box remains unknown, but according to Mills College Public Safety, unlawfully distributing a controlled substance is a criminal offense.
The student who consumed the entire cookie wished to remain anonymous to protect her identity.
“I was just at work and I’ve had this perpetual cold so I couldn’t smell the cookie,” said the student. “I thought it tasted like a ginger snap.”
Two marijuana cookies had been left in her employers’ box in the Rothwell center. The employer gave the two employees the unsuspecting treats after saying they were hungry, unaware that they contained marijuana. After the effects started to hit the student who ate the entire cookie, public safety was notified of the suspicious cookies.
The student who ate the entire cookie had never smoked or consumed marijuana in any manner, so she said the cookie’s effect came as a surprise.
“Basically I was trying to work and I couldn’t really focus properly,” the student said. “My vision was going in and out. I went to the bathroom to splash some cold water on my face and when I looked in the mirror, I could see that my pupils were dilating in and out.”
The student left work and went to lay down, where three of her friends took turns keeping an eye on her.
“I was entirely stoned,” the student said. “I felt like I’d had a very long and weird dream. I remember bits and pieces from that night, but it doesn’t all fit together.”
Niviece D. Robinson, assistant director of Public Safety, said that the presence of marijuana is common at Mills and the Bay Area in general.
“Even police and fire departments – they’ll get little baskets of marijuana cookies, or at holiday parties people will say, ‘don’t eat these, they’re the special cookies,'” Robinson said.
Robinson also said that despite marijuana’s prevalence in the Bay Area, Mills still sets strict rules following state laws including not smoking in the building.
Students are allowed to have marijuana on campus if they have a medical card, but they must file their condition with Jess Miller, the director of services for students with disabilities.
Robinson said that the ultimate goal at Mills is to create an environment where marijuana can be used safely, but without incidents such as the anonymous marijuana-tainted cookies on Oct. 21.
“We’re all in this grey area, trying to find how we can get a balance,” Robinson said. “Our main concern is (that a student with a medical card for marijuana) is controlling it as they would with any other medication.”
The student said she realized that marijuana is part of Oakland’s culture, especially with the attempt to pass Proposition 19, the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act. The proposition was written by Richard Lee, Oakland resident and creator of Oaksterdam University, a “cannabis college” where students learn about the marijuana industry and how to cultivate the plant.
Proposition 19, which would have made possession of marijuana for people ages 21 and over legal, was ultimately defeated on the Nov. 2 election with only 46% voting in favor.
“It didn’t affect my general views on drugs,” the student said. “I still voted yes on 19.”