Holiday traditions are supposed to be fun, festive, family-friendly and frightful. The costumes. The parties. The “fun-sized” candy.
Oh, about that candy. One of the Halloween traditions scaring gullible parents is that their trick-or-treating children will receive cannabis-infused candy while trick-or-treating.
Let’s dispel this silly hoax with some basic fact checking. This has never happened. Not even once, based on all available evidence. But every year, it seems, this frightful myth picks up steam in the media.
Researcher: No credible evidence to support claim
Joel Best, the nation’s top (and perhaps only) researcher on Halloween candy contamination, told Vox, “I’ve done research, and I can’t find any evidence that any child has been killed or seriously hurt by any candy picked up in the course of trick-or-treating. My view is this is overblown. You can’t prove a negative, but it seems unlikely.”
Cannabis Candy – Not Going to Kids
In a study published in 1993, Best searched for reports of poisoned Halloween candy, finding no credible cases up to that point. He continues to look for credible reports, including those about marijuana since legalization began to take root — but, again, has found no credible cases of cannabis candy given to children.
New Jersey fear-mongering 2017
Last year, the Township of Moorestown, N.J., a burg east of Philadelphia, joined in on this fear-mongering tradition. The township’s police department, in its infinite wisdom, decided to frighten its 19,000 residents with a Special Halloween Alert. The public awareness announcement claimed:
“There is a significant presence of marijuana candy and other edible forms in New Jersey and nearby states. The presence of these edible forms of marijuana poses a great risk to users, especially to children, who may accidentally receive marijuana candy during Halloween.”
Of course, law enforcement officials, when asked, could not provide one instance of this happening. Not in Moorestown. Not in New Jersey. Not in the United States.
NORML – Sets the Record Straight
“Cannabis consumers are not looking to dose children with cannabis. That is not something that I’ve ever heard of anybody ever being interested in doing or wanting to do or would think is ethical,” said Evan Nison, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of NORML.
Florida freak out in 2016
In 2016, The Great Halloween Candy Scare made headlines in Florida. The Florida Sheriffs Association held a press conference spreading this unfounded fear that kids would find cannabis-infused candy in their trick-or-treat bags.
Marijuana Edibles – Unfounded Fears
“We are certainly concerned about trick-or-treating this year as well,” Sheriff Jerry Demings warned. “Even though the potential for the marijuana edibles appearing this year may be somewhat minimal, it is still a threat in our community.”
For Demings and other fear-mongers out “somewhat minimal” means it just won’t happen. When asked, Demings could not provide any instances of children receiving marijuana-laced trick-or-treat candy in legal marijuana states. Not one. Why? Because a child is more likely to get a winning lottery ticket in their bag than cannabis.
In his press conference, Demings made this audacious claim: “It looks like any other candy. Sometimes there’s just mean-spirited people who infuse these types of products into our society to create confusion and injure our children and other people.”
The only confusion is that seemingly intelligent people continue to fall for this candy canard. It makes for a good horror story. But it is pure fiction.
Be a responsible cannabis consumer
Responsible cannabis consumers – especially parents or those living with minors – know to store their edibles in areas inaccessible from children. The importance of this practice is more important than ever during the holiday season when candy is more available in the home.
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