Marijuana

Tykes Taking THC-Treated Treats From Tricksters on Halloween May Be an Urban Legend, but the Times Still Leads With It

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Denver Police Department

The other day, I noted that a partner in CB Scientific, immediately after promoting his company's test kits as a defense against the mythical menace of marijuana-laced Halloween candy, added, "Not that we believe anyone will be passing out pot candy to kids…" New York Times reporter Jack Healy likewise is totally not lending credence to unsubstantiated rumors about strangers with cannabis candy who want to get your kids high. Except that he is.

"To some marijuana advocates," Healy writes, "the warning belongs with shadowy urban legends about poisoned chocolates and candy bars spiked with razor blades. There have not been any reported cases of marijuana-laced treats being passed out on Halloween here [in Colorado], and edible marijuana comes in drab packages that look nothing like regular candy." Yet Healy uses the Halloween angle to introduce a story about the hazards supposedly posed by newly legal marijuana edibles. Even if there is no truth to tales of tykes taking THC-treated treats from tricksters, he says, "the Halloween message underscored a growing concern among parents' groups and regulators that the abundant new varieties of legal, edible marijuana just look too much like regular food."

That concern recently led Colorado's health department to briefly propose a ban on almost all forms of marijuana edibles. It quickly backtracked from that idea, for good reasons. But let's take the concern about lookalike cannabis candy at face value. Doesn't it cast doubt on the effectiveness of warnings about marijuana edibles in trick-or-treat bags?

The Denver Police Department and other law enforcement agencies emphasize that the marijuana products look exactly like conventional candy, even while urging parents to be on the lookout for them. Short of testing every piece of candy (which would make the folks at CB Scientific very happy but would be prohibitively expensive), how is a parent who takes these warnings to heart supposed to distinguish between spiked and unspiked versions of the same product? They can toss out loose gummy candies and jelly beans, of course, and any edibles in their original packaging will be readily identifiable. But wouldn't a prankster who is determined to slip your kids cannabis candy think of putting it in packaging from conventional candy? Alternatively, he could buy regular candy and dose it with cannabis tincture. The truth is that there is no reliable, cost-effective defense against someone bent on disguising drugs as Halloween treats. 

It's a good thing such people do not seem to exist. Not only are there no documented cases, but the idea is implausible on its face. It would be a pretty pricey prank, since cannabis candy is a lot more expensive than the conventional sort. And what exactly is the payoff? The knowledge that, hours later, after the kids get home, eat the candy, and it starts to kick in, they will feel loopy and drowsy? The prankster would never know for sure that kids actually got high from his candy, and if they did he would not be around to witness the results.

But fear springs eternal. Today the Associated Press reported that police in Prince George's County, Maryland, "seized several boxes of candy infused with marijuana" that had been shipped from Colorado and "the West Coast." Exactly when this seizure happened is not clear, but the reason for announcing it today is: "Police say it's the first time they've seen that type of product in their jurisdiction and wanted to make parents aware of the seizure ahead of Friday's trick-or-treating."

NEXT: Cops Kill Family Dog In Front of 12-Year-Old Girl During Warrantless Backyard Search, Federal Court Orders Jury Trial

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  1. If somebody actually did that, what would they be looking at? 20 years? 20 years per kid?

    1. Assuming the kid complained.

    2. Not to mention having shitted in his own pool as it were.

      1. Yeah. There is no upside to this, and a huge downside.

        1. I always figured somebody secretly putting pot in candy they were giving away was about as likely as them secretly putting Lagavulin 20-year-old whisky in water they were giving away. Really, the whole scare looks to me like an extension of the old “pusher” scare – you know, you’re hopelessly addicted after just one time, so the evil pusher tries to get kids to take drugs so they’ll be enslaved to him. And because he’s evil, he’d do it without even giving the kids a chance to say no, right?

          1. And because of all the Halloween candy, they’d remember where they got that one.

            And somehow they’d know which of the hundred pieces they shoveled in that night got them high, right?

  2. police in Prince George’s County, Maryland, “seized several boxes of candy infused with marijuana”

    “Marijuana Candy Causes Seizures”

  3. People have been making food with pot in it forever. If it wasn’t a problem before, why would it be now?

    1. I thin the concern is that the mentally handicapped peasants might confuse ‘legalized for consumption’ with ‘recommended for children’.

      You know, the way people always have to be reminded not to let their toddler’s smoke or put their own prescription medication in their children’s food.

      1. The same way I’ve heard people hyperventilate over “legalization” as if it meant “anarchy”.

        “If we legalize pot, elementary school kids could buy it at the 7/11!

        Because, uh, we don’t have age limits for any other substances, and stuff…”

  4. I love how their “can you tell which is which” photos start with taking the candy out of the fucking wrapper.

    No decent parent would let their kid eat any Halloween candy that didn’t have an intact wrapper. And if its still wrapped, its pretty easy to identify the pot candy.

  5. I remember as a kid with a newspaper route, one of my customers was the state liquor store. The manager gave me rum candy one year for Christmas. I had barely finished the rest of my route before my pants were off and my flower had been taken.

  6. Not only are there no documented cases, but the idea is implausible on its face. It would be a pretty pricey prank, since cannabis candy is a lot more expensive than the conventional sort. And what exactly is the payoff? The knowledge that, hours later, after the kids get home, eat the candy, and it starts to kick in, they will feel loopy and drowsy? The prankster would never know for sure that kids actually got high from his candy, and if they did he would not be around to witness the results.

    Right. It is far more likely that somebody would do this on a day that isn’t Halloween. And it would probably be a family member that the kid trusted, just like with other forms of child abuse.

  7. You folks are missing the real angle here:

    If there are any incidents, they will be false flag incidents by anti-pot activists. This will be very difficult, but hopefully not impossible, to prove.

    The current rash of stories (sourced from anti-pot activists) is just prepping the media for the big horror story they will manufacture after Halloween.

  8. No self-respecting pothead would ever willingly give up his stash.

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