Cannabis Candy Leaves Sour Taste in Drug Warriors' Mouths

The Associated Press reports that Buffalo politicians are outraged by marijuana-themed candy sold in local stores. The products, which include Pothead Lollipops and Pothead Sour Gummy Candy, do not contain cannabis, but they do contain subversive ideas, which may be even worse:

"We're already dealing with a high amount of drug abuse and drug activity and trying to raise children so they don't think using illegal substances is acceptable," said City Councilmember Darius Pridgen. "So to have a licensed store sell candy to kids that depicts an illegal substance is just ignorant and irresponsible."

Why did Pridgen mention that the stores are licensed? Here's why:

Pridgen and Councilmember Demone Smith displayed the candy, along with fake marijuana known as "K2" that's also sold in some stores, at Tuesday's Common Council meeting, where Pridgen said he'd refuse to grant licenses to stores in his district that planned to sell the merchandise and would seek to embarrass stores that carry it. 

A spokesman for the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy validates Pridgen and Smith's concern, declaring the "Legalize" message communicated by the candy and its packaging "a threat to public health because it erodes perceptions of harm among young people." It also happens to be political speech protected by the First Amendment, something no one in the A.P. story bothers to mention. Criticizing the candy is one thing, but refusing to license retailers who plan to sell it crosses the line between debate and censorship. 

So do bans on marijuana-flavored (but nonpsychoactive) lollipops, which I discussed in a 2007 column. In my 2009 Reason article "Bongs Away!," I argued that bans on drug paraphernalia likewise are best understood as attempts to suppress an offensive message.

[Thanks to Mark Lambert for the tip.]

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  • Note to Self||

    Halloween is in three weeks away...

  • ||

    Yeah! Where do you get this stuff? (I don't live in Buffalo, although I've eaten a lot of buffalo.)

  • jtuf||

    You read my mind. I'm looking for it locally. If I can't get it around here or on the web, I might just drive from NJ to buffalo to get it.

  • 20th Century Progressive||

    Damn you Sullum! It is a public health issue!

    Do you want darkies to start thinking they're as good as white men?

    You think miscegenation is acceptable in a civilized society?

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...the "Legalize" message communicated by the candy and its packaging "a threat to public health because it erodes perceptions of harm among young people.

    Unbelievable. "Perceptions" of harm? Learning the truth about drugs removes a lot of the "perceptions" of harm, namely, all of the ones that 1) are total bullshit and 2) the ones that are real, but very overblown.

    Since about 95% of the "perceptions" of harm for marijuana fall into the first category, I can see why these authoritarians shits are scared.

  • ||

    I finally got around to watching Part One of Prohibition last night.

    What a surprise to see people saying, "Well, we would like to get them to make the right choice on their own, but sometimes you just have to FORCE THEM."

  • ||

    I also think that oh-so-concerned fucking "Herstory" professor needs a good kick in the spleen.

  • ||

    the "Legalize" message communicated by the candy and its packaging "a threat to public health because it erodes perceptions of harm

    You know where else this argument can be used?

    That's right, to prohibit open carry.

    Heaven forbid anyone should get the crazy idea dope/alcohol/guns are not immediately and unfailingly lethal in the smallest dose, upon first exposure.

  • ||

    Apparently candy cigarettes and bubble gum cigars are still available online, but I can't remember the last time I saw them in a store.

  • ||

    My local convenience store has candy cigarettes, but they are now labelled as "candy sticks." They have bubble-gum cigars as well.

  • ||

    And Big League Chews, too, I think. A gateway drug for future tobacco chewers.

  • Apatheist||

    Big League Chew is still all over the place. Also the whole point of it was to replace tobacco chewing.

  • ||

    I suppose that 7-year-olds did chew tobacco at one time.

    Don't get me wrong, I couldn't care less about BLC or anything else. I think kids need to act things out to work them out. They ought to have bong candy, that you inhale.

  • 7-year-old||

    The biggest problem is that the tooth fairy will only give you a nickel for your icky brown tooth.

  • Apatheist||

    Holy bejesus, I just read this story and came over here to link it. You read my mind reason!

  • Stoner||

    Pot makes me, like, psychic!

  • Apatheist||

    If it is sold in the same shops as K2 then it is likely being sold in head shops. If the laws in NY are anything like in TX then you need to be 18 to enter one. If that is the case then saying these are marketed to anyone besides potheads is retarded.

    Unlike in NY, TX head shops can not sell any kind of synthetic cannaboids anymore (starting in September). The new replacements suck balls and that being the case I don't see any point in trying to comply with the law anymore, I'll just got back to smoking the real stuff more often.

  • Federal Dog||

    "If that is the case then saying these are marketed to anyone besides potheads is retarded."

    Why? The stuff has nothing to do with actual marijuana, and it cannot get anyone high.

  • Apatheist||

    "Why? The stuff has nothing to do with actual marijuana, and it cannot get anyone high."

    Look at the fucking packaging, the whole point of it is to promote the legalization of marijuana. It has EVERYTHING to do with it.

  • Federal Dog||

    What evidence do you claim to have that people who smoke pot eat candy, as long as it has a pot leaf on the bag?

    Think past your hysteria.

  • Prog Pop Rocks||

    "We don't advocate for a political position. We just look at what the marketplace wants and respond to it," the wholesaler said.

    BLASPHEMY!

  • Bünzli||

    Maybe if they sold "Prohibition Pops" that would be acceptable.
    They could make them look like dollar bills and dead and incarcerated black and brown people. On the packaging i'd suggest a SWAT team member shooting a puppy.

  • ||

    Now in tangy Fast and Furious Flavor!

  • Rhywun||

    |

    "Pridgen said he'd refuse to grant licenses to stores in his district that planned to sell the merchandise"

    How much to get him to look the other way?

  • Spartacus||

    You need a license to sell candy? Next time one of those little brats from the elementary school shows up at my door selling chocolate bars, I'm going to narc her out.

  • kilroy||

    Cannabis Candy Leaves Sour Taste in Drug Warriors' Mouths

    You know what else left a bad taste in their mouths?

  • Ska||

    Felchsicles?

  • PantsFan||

    Can you still get absinthe suckers?

  • goober1223||

  • ||

    And making the "Legalize" message disappear (as the ONDCP would like) would imply that the prohibition effectively prevented people from using marijuana and made our children safer. Both of these would be completely UNtrue!

    Parents have to decide if they want drug dealers selling marijuana to kids or supermarkets selling legally-grown marijuana to adults at prices low enough to prevent illegal competition. Those are our ONLY two options, and only ONE of them will increase the safety of our children.

    Marijuana is a parent's issue - it's OUR job to keep our children safe from drug dealers, and the federal government has no right making that impossible!!

  • Carmen Senz||

    If you don't like marijuana, then don't use it.

  • db||

    They better stay the fuck away from my hop candy.

  • brian s||

    These candy makers should have come to California. Every single dispensary would have carried these, even if they didn't have medication. CANNABIS IS A MEDICINE!!!

  • ||

    only evil and/or ignorance supports the drug war

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