No Tricks, Just Treats

by | Cannabis News | 0 comments

Throughout October, many people are excited to go to pumpkin patches, look at the falling leaves and, most importantly, get ready for Halloween. October is also when reports and warnings are advertised, encouraging parents to check their children’s candy for any and all threats- including cannabis.

The High Times recently released an article that addresses the issue of cannabis-laced candy entitled “The Absurdity of Halloween Sadism” by Andrew Ward. The article recognizes that the myth of laced candy originated with Judy Klemsrud. She encouraged parents to check their children’s candy because of alleged reports of needles, pins, poison, and razor blades being present. The fears this article created coincided with the War on Drugs in the 1960s and 70s, thus leading many to worry about the possibility of cannabis-laced candy. Ward explains that, according to the fact-checking site Snope, there were no reports of cannabis-laced candy appearing in children trick-or-treat bags until about 2010. The article concludes that Halloween sadism is rare, and parents should focus on not confusing their cannabis-infused edibles with the candy their children may consume.

Now, this begs the question: Why would someone dose Halloween candy? To me, the idea that someone would want to dose children with cannabis is preposterous. Now that 19 states have legalized recreational cannabis, consumers will tell you that no one wants to get rid of any edibles that have cost them money. In addition, in non-legalized states, it would be a significant risk to distribute cannabis-infused candy. Either way, one would be risking jail time and the loss of a product that was either grown themselves or bought. Although there have been a couple cases of cannabis-infused candy in the past decade, I agree with The High Times. The issue parents should be focusing on is keeping cannabis products that they have purchased out of the reach of small children.

An issue that one may want to consider is the nationwide Fentanyl crisis. According to  DEA data, parents should be on the lookout this year for brightly colored pills that look like smarties or other chalk-based candies. These rainbow fentanyl pills are designed by the Mexican drug cartel to get the attention of children and young adults to drive addiction in their age groups. Lookout for unlabeled packaging or loose pills and if one is found, call 911.

Because cannabis is legalized, it is regulated. Legalization means that many laws also require clear packaging on all cannabis products to limit the chance of confusion; unlike Fentanyl which is illegal and can be packaged any number of ways. However, just because there is straightforward packaging, it does not mean that accidents don’t happen. Another article from The High Times details how a parent found Delta-8 edibles in her five-year-old’s Halloween bag after coming home from a Trunk-or-Treat event. Due to the packaging, the mother noticed that the edibles were not regular candy. Police were informed and searched through all the trunks at the event and did not find any other packages. “We don’t believe at this time there was malicious intent. That somehow these gummy worms got mixed in with candy because they do look like candy,” a Lieutenant from the Police Department stated.

This event only bolsters my argument that the concern lies not with malicious intent but in accidental confusion. It is, of course, up to parents’ discretion to check their children’s candy. However, seeing these events are relatively rare and seem to be based entirely on mix-ups, I would deem it to not be a significant concern. These yearly warnings only instill fear and enforce the belief that the cannabis industry and those in it are bad or dangerous- which is not true.


Possible Solutions

A solution to limit the harmful effects of these warnings would be for the media to pay attention to their wording, particularly in their titles. Stating whether cannabis products appear to be present by accident or intention in the title would limit the panic some may feel. Another solution may be to have the police participating in interviews relay to the public the rarity and intention of the situation at hand. All in all, the yearly warnings we’ve learned of are not beneficial for the cannabis industry. In some cases, they are used to fight against the legalization of cannabis. “These unregulated and deceptive cannabis products will only confuse and harm New Yorkers, which is why they have no place in our state,” Attorney General Letitia James stated in opposition to legalization. I do not believe that these warnings will indeed stall the legalization of cannabis in any states, but they don’t help.

Even though it doesn’t appear that these warnings bear a lot of weight and are somewhat harmful to the cannabis industry, the question remains: Will you be checking your child’s Halloween candy?


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Photo credit.

Olivia Swift


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