Halloween is right around the corner, so naturally, parents are sure to be on the lookout for any suspect treats finding their way into their children’s trick-or-treat bags. This includes the now- common urban legend that dastardly neighbors are just fiending to feed your children marijuana-laced Halloween candy for their own sick pleasure.
However, time and time again, this myth has proven to be, well, just a myth.
New Year, Same Warning
Seemingly, every year around this time, local news agencies issue warnings to be on the lookout for marijuana-laced Halloween candy. This isn’t your typical rusted razor blade-infused candy rumors we used to hear back in the day, but rather, a new-age “problem” to be on the lookout for, as more states continue to legalize both medicinal and recreational cannabis.
North Carolina law enforcement agents were the latest to warn parents to be on the lookout for the candies, because, as Carolina native Catherine Scrimshaw suggested, the “Not a Candy,” and “Keep out of reach of children” warnings on the back of typical CBD-infused products might not be enough of a preventative to stop kids from eating the candies.
“It feels like a candy. It looks like a candy. I don’t know many children who’d turn it over and read the label,” Scrimshaw said. “I mean, I have a six-year-old who can read, and she’d say, ‘Oh, Mommy, gummy candy.’ She’d be excited about this.”
Additionally, the color of the packaging is a cause for concern, according to Cumberland County Sherriff Ennis Wright.
“Being that Halloween is coming up, this package here basically favors the Halloween colors,” Wright said. “I want to inform these parents to ensure that they look at every piece of candy that these young people are bringing home.”
However, Wright claims he hasn’t found a single candy on local school campuses yet.
Although CBD gummies typically don’t contain any THC, the psychoactive ingredient typically found in cannabis, they can still make the user feel euphoric, in addition to intense feelings of relaxation (oh, the horror).
However, while many of the candies claim to have no THC in them, Jason Locklear, an agent with North Carolina’s Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement, claims this isn’t always necessarily the case.
“We’re finding that when we send some of these products to the North Carolina crime lab that they’re coming back positive for THC,” Locklear explained.
This is far from a new tune sung by local law enforcement agents.
Last year, the Orlando Sentinel reported that at a news conference hosted by the anti-cannabis group “Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot,” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings warned Floridians that if the state passes Amendment 2, “potheads” will attempt to give their children weed candies for Halloween.
This ultimately proved to be a Reefer Madness-esque scare tactic, as Demings was unable to name a single incident where this occurred in states where cannabis was legal.
Additionally, the Orlando Weekly published a chart from the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, actually proving that children were more likely to come down with Ebola than to receive marijuana-laced Halloween candy.
Three years ago, when Colorado first legalized recreational cannabis, a similar warning was released to parents from the Denver Police Department. First, in a video featuring Patrick Johnson, the owner of Urban Dispensary, who advised parents to inspect their children’s candy, followed up by a segment published by the Denver Police News.
“If you see something that doesn’t look right—apples, gummy bears—there’s a ton of edible stuff that’s out there on the market that’s infused with marijuana that could be a big problem for your child,” detective Aaron Kafer said. “Therefore, it is a good idea for parents to thoroughly inspect their children’s trick-or-treat candy, and not allow them to consume anything that is out of the package.”
Final Hit: Marijuana-Laced Halloween Candy Is Still An Outrageous Myth
Despite the frequent warnings, there have been zero—we repeat, ZERO—reported incidents regarding marijuana-laced Halloween candy finding its way into the bags of unsuspecting youths.
Following the Denver Police’s warning back in 2014, officials admitted there were no actual cases of such an epidemic.
“This is our first year with [recreational] edibles, and we just kind of wanted to put it out there as a reminder,” said Ron Hackett, a representative for the police force. “It’s just something that we really wanted to get out there and get ahead of because kids will eat anything.”
Additionally, in a Forbes column written by Jaco Sallum that year, the author echoed Hackett’s sentiment.
“As far as I can tell, there has not been a single documented case in which someone has tried to get kids high by doling out THC-tainted treats disguised as ordinary candy,” Sallum noted.
Two years ago, Drew Fowler, a spokesman for the Seattle Police Department, also claimed there wasn’t much to the rumors about marijuana-laced Halloween candy.
“I think there was some fear-mongering going on there,” said Fowler.
Last year, Ben Pollara, director of United For Care, a pro-MMJ group, also made a point to note that despite the frequent warnings, there has not been a single recorded case of tampering.
“It’s not grounded in fact or experience in the 25 other states and in [Washington] D.C. that already have medical marijuana,” he said.
While it’s always a good thing for parents to be diligent about inspecting their children’s Halloween candy, it appears the chances of finding CBD gummies is slim to none. Of course, nothing is impossible, but for right now, it looks like marijuana-laced Halloween candy is still just your typical urban legend.