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The Myth of Weed-Infused Halloween Candy Must Die

The Myth of Weed-Infused Halloween Candy Must Die

Leading up to this year’s Halloween, a number of state attorney generals warned of kids getting candy laced with THC. The problem? There’s no evidence to support their concerns.

In some ways, Halloween is a holiday season ripe for deception.

Most obviously, it represents an occasion where disguising oneself in costume is a time-honored part of the festivities. The same can be said of our own homes, which we temporarily festoon with cobwebs, fake blood, and skeletons. Unfortunately, there’s another element of deception that also seems to arrive every year with the start of October: worries over whether there might be cannabis in the Halloween candy being given out to trick-or-treaters.

Despite the fact that numerous journalists have repeatedly looked into the issue and found, as Slate’s Jane C. Hu put it in 2019, “no actual reports of this ever happening,” unwarranted concerns over kids getting weed-laced sweets on Halloween continue to inspire headlines on an annual basis. This year, misguided efforts to save the children from a non-existent threat took the form of formal warnings issued by a slew of state attorney generals in the days leading up to October 31.

As reported by NPR, attorney generals in Ohio, New York, Illinois, Connecticut and Arkansas “all released statements [on Oct. 26 as] part of a coordinated effort to advise parents about the dangers of marijuana edibles.” While no official acknowledgement was made by any of the parties involved with regard to the effort being coordinated, the unified timing of these announcements is surely not a coincidence.

Oh, and there’s the fact that all of them included the same photo of cannabis products packaged to resemble popular brand-name candies with their advisories. California’s AG, Rob Banta, also subsequently used the image when he followed with his own release two days after his peers.

Title: The Myth of Weed-Infused Halloween Candy Must Die (weed infused candy)

In surveying the confectionary selection featured in the photo in question, one can appreciate how a child might confuse a bag of weed cookies meant to look exactly like a package of Oreos with the real thing. The same goes for the Sour Patch Kids’ pot substitute, Stoney Patch, and sure, even the imposter, THC-infused versions of Doritos and Cheetos seem like a potential temptation in the wrong little hands. But again, we simply have no evidence to support this theory.

Why is that? There are actual several important factors to consider when making the case for weed-infused candy on Halloween as an utter falsehood. First off, let’s try and understand the mindset of these alleged culprits. These are people who are supposedly spending money to purchase expensive cannabis products with the express purpose of slipping them into trick-or-treat bags. It would be a ludicrously motiveless crime, which is likely why no one has ever actually attempted it.

Furthermore, all of the offending cannabis candy featured in the photo shared by this group of attorney generals are products of illicit markets. As anyone who has stepped foot in a dispensary knows, there are no bootleg versions of Sour Patch Kids or Doritos to be found as they would obviously represent examples of copyright infringement that major brands like Nabisco and Mars would never — and, legally-speaking, are unable — to allow.

Cannabis sold through legal channels is also required to be properly labeled and enclosed in child-proof packaging, further cementing the reality that what these lawmakers should actually be focused on is the eradication of unregulated markets. Even if one allows that a person would spend a sizeable sum to buy a bunch of illegal cannabis candy products with the intent of giving them to children on Halloween, there’s yet another reason this whole affair is nothing more than mass hysteria: weed can’t kill you.

Though there are certainly many valid reasons to think critically when it comes to one’s cannabis consumption, the idea that were a child to accidentally get high, it would pose a life-threatening risk, is rather hyperbolic as, per the National Institutes on Drug Abuse, science has no record of a single death attributable solely to cannabis overdose. That doesn’t mean things might be unpleasant or uncomfortable, but we’re talking about numerous AGS warning entire states about seemingly catastrophic harms that may come to their children as a result of eating a THC-rich Snickers.

Speaking with Marijuana Moment, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri framed the situation in appropriately spooky terms:

“You are more likely to summon Beetlejuice by saying his name three times than you are to find marijuana edibles in your children’s Halloween candy. This myth reanimates itself year after year like a zombie from a Romero film, and also like those zombies, is a work of pure fiction. No one is trying to spend hundreds of dollars to give cannabis to children and officials should finally give up on trying to spook parents every October with baseless fearmongering.”

And sadly, that’s precisely all this effort amounts to: fearmongering.

If ironically appropriate for Halloween, it still represents a failure of elected officials to evolve their thinking when it comes the role of cannabis in society. In a time when outlandish claims can solidify into unfounded facts with a single post, being educated about what issues cannabis may actually pose and which ones are totally bogus is not a luxury but a necessity. Here lies the myth of kids getting weed-infused candy on Halloween. May it stay dead and buried.

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