News Outlets Are Increasingly Skeptical of Warnings About Marijuana Edibles in Trick-or-Treat Bags
The mythical menace of THC-infused Halloween candy continues to haunt police departments and news outlets across the country, as Reason‘s Lenore Skenazy notes. But a review of recent press coverage suggests that journalists are starting to wise up.
In 2014, after Denver police told parents to be on the lookout for marijuana edibles in their kids’ trick-or-treat bags, I searched for evidence that anything like that had ever happened and found none. Since 1996, the year that California became the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use, drug warriors and their credulous collaborators at newspapers and TV stations have repeatedly warned parents that seemingly friendly strangers might be trying to get their kids high on Halloween by passing off THC-infused candy as ordinary treats. Yet none of those stories cited any actual examples.
Even the 2019 case mentioned in the scare story that Yahoo! News ran this week does not really count as a fulfillment of those dark prophecies. Last November, The Day, a Connecticut newspaper, reported that Waterford police “found two kids under the age of 18 had each received two sealed packages of…’Shake & Baked Kitchen’ gummies.” This incident did not look like an attempted prank, since “the packages stated that each bag contained 10 gummies with a corresponding THC level of 10 mg per gummy.” The Day noted that “no one ingested the candies and no injuries have been reported.” The paper added that “it was not clear if the candy was intentionally handed out or was an unintentional oversight by the owner.”
Another 2019 Halloween scare likewise was not what it seemed. “North Carolina drug investigators allegedly seized 200 pieces of marijuana-infused Halloween candy from a South Carolina man,” the CBS station in Greenville reported. It described the seizure as “200 Nerds Rope candies allegedly infused with THC,” presumably a doctored version of this product. The station added that “detectives think the candy was going to be distributed at college parties and said there’s ‘no reason to believe it was intended to be distributed to young children trick or treating.'”
This year there has been no shortage of stories alerting parents to a danger that has never been documented and never made much sense, since substituting expensive marijuana edibles for cheap candy from Walm
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