Sheriff’s deputies are on the lookout this Halloween season for a certain kind of tainted candy – the kind that contains marijuana – and want parents to be aware of what their children might come home with after a night of Trick or Treating.
According to Sgt. Robert McMahon of the Sheriff’s Narcotics Bureau, the welfare of the people is their primary concern.
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“What we’re concerned with is public safety and people who unintentionally ingest marijuana, then have all the side effects and not be able to diagnose the side effects immediately, thinking perhaps something else is wrong, when it was accidentally ingesting marijuana.”
Marijuana-laced candy looks much like candy you might find in a store and sometimes requires close examination to tell the difference.
“The candy bars look very much like chocolate candy bars,” he explained. “We’re finding hard candies, the chewy, gummy type of candies, even suckers. Although they’re not marked with any of the trademarks items, they do look like regular candy, and an unsuspecting parent might not pay any attention to them.”
McMahon said that a recent case involved an elderly couple that ate brownies at a funeral, then sought medical help when they didn’t feel right. It was marijuana in the brownies that sent them to the hospital.
“There are numerous cases,” he said. “Accidental ingestion of marijuana occurs frequently.”
Parents and other adults are advised to look through the candy collected by their children and if they find anything suspicious, call the sheriff or local law enforcement.
“We’ll follow up on those kinds of things and find out how it was that the child came into contact with it.”
The problem is big enough to prompt warnings that include candies, soda, freezer pops and other snack foods that contain untested amounts of concentrated marijuana. Detectives have confiscated many of these items, which were sold at local marijuana dispensaries and other locations. The items were determined to be unlicensed, untested and labeled in a manner that improperly advises consumers of their contents
Detectives are also concerned about packaging that attracts children and teens, the widely varying drug content and the possible presence of toxins from pesticides and fertilizers.