The Little Girls' Leggings That Pot Prohibitionist Cannot Abide

Amazon removes pants falsely accused of promoting marijuana use.


Aoshilong-Baby / Amazon

Aoshilong, a Chinese clothing manufacturer that sells its line on Amazon, produces leggings for little girls in various prints. There is a flower print, a Chesire Cat print, a forest-under-a-starry-sky print, and, if numerous news sources can be believed, a marijuana leaf print.

According to a December 12 story from WFTX, the Fox station in Fort Myers, Florida, that was uncritically repeated by many other outlets, "the pants are covered with marijuana leaves," which "has some parents and grandparents upset." One unnamed but supposedly representative grandparent told WFTX reporter Jillian Idle, "I just think that's very inappropriate for a 3-year-old, not something they should be advertising." An anti-drug activist agreed, saying "you're advertising that you're showing acceptability."

By the time UPI's Ben Hooper got ahold of the story the next day, the parents and grandparents were not merely "upset" but "outraged." In an interview with Huffington Post reporter David Moye several hours later, another anti-drug activist justified the indignation. "Anything that normalizes marijuana with kids is child abuse," he explained. Yesterday Parent Herald's Claire Parker declared a "backlash" against the "marijuana-printed leggings," reporting that "parents and anti-drug activists are not happy." Evidently someone at Amazon took note, because the offending item has been removed.

Noting the disappearance of the leggings, Some News blogger Catherine LeClair said "the seller, AOSHILONG-Baby, called the pattern 'digital printed leaves,' leaving room for interpretation, but we all know a weed leaf when we see one." Or do we? Now that this menace to the youth of America has been eliminated, let's take a deep breath and ask which is more plausible: that a Chinese manufacturer of decidedly mainstream clothing made leggings for little girls printed with marijuana leaves and offered them for sale on Amazon, or that a few hyperventilating cannabiphobes mistook Japanese maple leaves for marijuana leaves? It would not be the first time.

As you may recall, Bureau County, Illinois, Sheriff James Reed made that very mistake when he falsely reported that someone was giving local trick-or-treaters marijuana-infused candy. He later admitted that the "suspicious looking candy," which supposedly tested "positive for containing cannabis," was "safe for consumption," noting that "the design on the wrapper is actually a Japanese Maple Leaf, which closely resembles a cannabis leaf." The same confusion was responsible for the 2014 suspension of a Virginia sixth-grader who brought a suspicious-looking leaf to school.

Dankspace, the blog that blew the lid off Reed's Halloween scare, notes that the "marijuana leaves" on the banned-from-Amazon leggings (above right) look a lot like Japanese maple leaves (above left) and asks, "Is it really that hard to Google whether there might be a leaf design similar to cannabis that has been hugely popular in Asia for many generations?" The problem is not so much laziness as bad incentives. Assuming that the offended Amazon browsers are honestly befuddled, neither the anti-drug activists nor the reporters regurgitating their concerns had anything to gain by questioning the story, which reinforces the antipot narrative and generates clicks.

Just as you should not expect prohibitionists to stop stoking unfounded fears of malevolent strangers trying to get your kids high on Halloween, there is no reason to think they will drop their objections to Aoshilong's leggings. After all, even if the pants depict maple leaves and have nothing to do with cannabis, they could easily be misinterpreted as an endorsement of the drug culture, as the activists' own confusion demonstrates.

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  1. Now, if they replaced the leaf pattern with a needle and spoon print, THAT would be awesome.

    1. Little girls’ leggings are a helluva drug.

  2. The only thing that matters here is feelings. It doesn’t matter if the pattern is of Japanese maple or marijuana leaves. It makes people feel afraid. It makes people fear for their lives. Patterns like that make parents feel that their children will overdose on the devil weed before they learn their letters. That is what matters. Facts are immaterial. Only emotions matter.

    1. Exactly why we should mandate wearing these. Heck, I’d even go out in public in them if I knew it would upset the snowflakes.

      1. It would upset everyone with eyes, you freak.

        1. Hmmmm … “there are none so blind as those who close their eyes” or something. I guess that would preserve the statists. /rethink

    2. Oh, sure, you’re so smug about it now but when young girls are dying left and right after smoking their pants, I wanna see you smirking it up to their grieving parents!

    3. Good thing parents can choose not to let their kids wear the pot-leaf pants.

      1. Oh that’s fine and dandy. But what if they see them with their eyes because some other parent let their kids wear them?!?!? Huh, smart guy?!

  3. Leggings are the gateway clothes to yoga pants.

    1. Is there a difference between yoga pants and leggings? They both look awesome to me*.

      *On women, not little girls. I am not OMWC.

      1. Also no fatties.

        1. Also not old women

  4. Hey ,Canada has a leaf on it’s flag. Time for a ‘Great Northern War’.

  5. “Anything that normalizes marijuana with kids is child abuse,” he explained.

    Anything that defines down assault is language abuse.

    1. No,it’s the ‘AGE OF TRUMP’. The old rules do not apply.

    2. Everything is child abuse! Ban parenthood! Let the state raise our kids! Oh wait, most people already do that. Pathetic.

  6. Amazon should have called a press conference, made a great show of preparing one of its representatives to deliver some speech, and had him read “fuck off” into the cameras before strolling away.

  7. In a sense, Sullum’s last paragraph says it all: if the pattern is perceived as pro-marijuana clothing for 3 year olds, it doesn’t matter that they are actually Japanese maple leaves.

    In another sense, the fact that the last paragraph says it all brings up the larger point: it’s really, really stupid for a society to be worried about a depiction of plant leaves that naturally grow out of the soil. Whether they are cannabis or Japanese maple.

    1. Isn’t California’s symbol the poppy?

      Friends’ front yard got seeded with poppies some years back, and they pop up every year with no help. They tell me it makes great tea.

      1. That’s up there with Massachusetts displaying statues of Men With Guns in Concord and Lexington.

      2. Yes, the state flower is the California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica).

        From Wikipedia:

        “California poppy leaves were used medicinally by Native Americans and the pollen was used cosmetically, while the seeds continue to be used in cooking.

        The plant is used as an herbal remedy: an aqueous extract of the plant has sedative and anxiolytic actions. The extract acts as a mild sedative when smoked, but the effect is far milder than that of opium because California poppy contains a different class of alkaloids.”

        So it’s not very potent.

  8. Hysterical dipshits take note: if someone is smoking the leaves, they’re doing it wrong.

  9. Amazon removes pants

    This link was not what I was hoping for.

    1. -1 snu snu

    2. +1 Wonder Woman porn parody.

  10. Little girls are not buying their own leggings on Amazon. If parents do not want their kids wearing such leggings, they should avoid buying them. If parents do want their kids wearing these leggings, it is nobody else’s business.

  11. I’m thinking about planting a Japanese Maple in my yard just to see if my neighbors freak out. Then again, they might and I might get a SWAT team called on me, so maybe it would be better to not poke the pants shitting morons.

    1. When the suckers grow as full plants, it’s hard to confuse them with the Devil Weed.

      Indeed, the cost of a healthy Japanese Maple is far greater, pound for pound, than harvested Devil Weed.

    2. The sango kaku variety is nice, if you have the overhead clearance. They grow fast for a Japanese Maple and have the green leaves to freak out the neighbors. And they have red bark for some visual interest in the winter.

  12. I was thinking about the myth of strangers giving out dope infused candy the article mentikns. I bet the while thing started with teenagers going out to party on halloween, coming home stoned, and lying to their parents. I swear dad, I didn’t take any drugs. It must have some of that candy I got from trick or treating. Honest.

  13. Hey to be fair, what would we think if little girls’ leggings were being sold printed with images of Jim Beam bottles?

    1. What do we think about this?

      1. I was expecting you to link to the Fisher Price Bar Set (which was fake).

        I’m not being a curmudgeon here, I really don’t care. I’m just wondering if we get more offended if someone gripes about the marijuana pants– and why are we seeing marijuana pants but not Jim Beam pants– than we would the other.

  14. I’ve heard if you scrape the inside of a strip of bark from a Japanese maple and dry it and smoke it you can get just as high as if you’re smoking banana peels or snorting nutmeg. That’s undoubtedly the message the wily Chinee are hiding in plain sight.

  15. The Country That Ate Itself.

    1. It had the munchies.

  16. Jesus Christ if a kid smokes a blunt every few months it is perfectly fine. Authoritarians these days come in the form of “FOR THE CHILDREN” variety most commonly.

    I wish I had daughters cause I’d buy them these leggings. I don’t even do any drug besides drinking once in a while.

  17. Here’s an idea: what if, instead of (something that resembles) hemp leaves, the leggings were covered with images of poison oak?

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