Every year since 1966, families have been tuning into Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang celebrate Halloween on “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” TV special. Spoiler Alert: Linus waits for The Great Pumpkin to materialize in the pumpkin patch but he nearly freezes to death. Drats.
Here’s another Halloween tradition that is equally fictional: Reefer Madness acolytes warn parents every year that some crazed freak is going to lace trick-or-treat candy with weed and your kids will overdose on the devil’s lettuce. But, like Linus awaiting the fictional Great Pumpkin, it never happens.
This Halloween tale of fright is picking up steam as more and more states legalize cannabis. The latest version of the bogus story comes from the Township of Moorestown, N.J., a burg east of Philadelphia. The township’s police department, in its infinite wisdom, decided to scare the bejesus out of its 19,000 residents with a Special Halloween Alert:
PUBLIC AWARENESS IN REGARD TO MARIJUANA CANDY
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 accidently receive marijuana candy during Halloween. Marijuana candy is illegal in New Jersey. It contains Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main active ingredient that causes a high. Marijuana candy often imitates hard or gummy candy or chocolate. THC levels in marijuana candy can be as high as 90% compared to 10 to 20% found in marijuana vegetation.
Adults should check for unusual candy packaging (e.g. homemade packages, such as plastic bags). Because of the similarities between marijuana candy and brand name candy, it is often difficult to distinguish the difference based on appearance alone. In addition to the packaging, marijuana candy can have an odor similar to that of the marijuana plant making it easier to identify.
• If you believe you or your child has received marijuana candy, immediately contact your local police department.
• Wear vinyl or non-latex gloves if handling possible marijuana candy.
• Thoroughly wash hands after removing and disposing of the gloves properly to prevent potential ingestion of any drug particles.
That’s right! Make sure to wear gloves and wash your hands to prevent drug particles!
It would be worth a chuckle if it wasn’t so misguided. These alerts make great headlines and grab viewers of local TV news. But when has it ever happened?
Medical marijuana programs have been in existence for more than 20 years and 29 states now allow for it. Eight states have legal weed. A basic internet search through news reports do not show a single incident of marijuana-laced candy harming a trick-or-treater.