Just when you thought it was safe to overeat Wonka Bars, Nerds Ropes and chewy Rice Krispie Treats, a couple of wicked people come along and lace them with cannabis. Or did they?
The police in Peabody Massachusetts seized enough suspicious canna-candy disguised as the real thing that would have given consumers way more than just a sugar high.
When the police uncovered the pot-plot, they found hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of edibles along with 100 pounds of marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and cash, reported the Salem News, although the candy products were marked with warnings that they contained THC.
Local Police Chief, Thomas Griffin, nevertheless cited concerns that counterfeit edibles could have ended up being consumed by children.
Though seized in Peabody, a small town of 54,000 located about 20 miles northeast of Boston, the goodies were thought to have been circulating around the region for the past several months.
Almost every Halloween, supposedly well-meaning police departments issue warnings to parents to be wary of pranksters who might give edibles to their children and almost every year, such reports are debunked.
Myth vs. Reality
Halloween candy spiked with weed myth is essentially an updated version of the razor blade-in-the-apple legend, which has also been thoroughly debunked, said Benjamin Radford, folklorist and editor of Skeptical Inquirer Science magazine.
Both the weed-laced candy and the razor blade apples are predicated on the concept of a “Halloween sadist” going out of their way to hurt children, Radford told Rolling Stone.
“You’ve got the stranger danger, the fear of Halloween, the concern parents have about what the kids today are doing. Basically, all these elements combine to form this specific flavor [of urban legend],” Radford said.
Oddly, the razor blade myth has faded, now replaced by cannabis-candy warnings.
But that’s no coincidence.
The Halloween candy scare burst into the collective consciousness of police, parents and prohibitionists around 2012, when marijuana was legalized in Washington state, Colorado and two years later in Oregon.
Joel Best, the nation’s top (and probably only) researcher on Halloween candy contamination, has never found any evidence that any child has been killed or seriously hurt by trick-or-treating candy. He says the warnings have been overblown.
“We live in a world of apocalyptic scenarios. Here we are; we have safer, healthier, longer lives than people in any other point in history. And we are constantly imagining that this could all fall apart in a nanosecond,” Best told Vox.
“So I think that what happens is we translate a lot of our anxiety into fears about our children.”