In Florida, a teacher has accused a 9-year-old girl of selling drugs for accepting money for giving her friends Hall’s Defense Vitamin C cough drops. These are mostly sugar, and are basically candy. The active ingredient is 60 mg of Vitamin C (less than that in a typical orange) in the form of sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid. These are widely included in food products, without fanfare, as a preservative. It’s water soluble, with a short biological halflife. Its LD50 (median lethal dose — the dose tested to kill half the test population) has been measured in rats as 11.9 grams per kilogram of body weight. We don’t know what it is for humans, but if it’s comparable to that for rats, then for median weight 9-year-old girls of about 30 kg, that’d be 357g, or the amount of Vitamin C in 5950 cough drops.
This kind of zero-tolerance, what lesson will it teach this girl? a) dealing drugs is bad, or b) that her teacher and principal are idiots?