An Iowa junior high student faces criminal charges for allegedly distributing bags of powdered sugar he claimed was cocaine.
The 13-year-old has also been suspended from Woodrow Wilson Junior High School in Council Bluffs, KETV-TV in Omaha, reports.
Under Iowa law, the penalties for possession and distribution of a simulated drug are as stiff as those for the real thing, so the boy, who has been charged as a juvenile, could face serious charges.
Ron Diimig, a spokesman for the Council Bluffs schools, said the school has the same policy. He argues young people who buy fake drugs and take them with no effect could be deceived into thinking that real cocaine is harmless, with tragic consequences if the next baggie they get has the real thing.
A girl allegedly given a baggie of sugar also faces a drug charge. The television station said the boy denies claiming the substance was cocaine.