It’s a tale as old as Halloween time. By all means, make sure there aren’t any razor blades in your kid’s candied apple. Outside of horror anthology movies, evidence is lacking that such a trick has ever been played on treaters. Hell, I’m skeptical anyone is even handing out candied apples. The warning comes from the same world where watermelons can grow in your tummy if you eat the seeds. But in 2017, as cannabis legalization spreads across North America, this old yarn has a new thread. It isn’t poison in your Crunch bar anymore, it’s something much, much crunchier.
New Jersey’s State Department of Health of health is warning parents that this Halloween, kids should beware of treats containing edible THC. The Attorney General’s office released a pamphlet illustrating the risk of Halloween edibles, including mock-candy wrappers that look like those Wacky Packages stickers.
“Parents need to be aware and check for unusual candy packaging,” said Jim Jefferson of the Addictions Task Force. “If they suspect their child has received marijuana candy they should immediately contact their local police department.”
A spokeswoman for the Attorney General told the Associated Press that there have been several incidents of children consuming THC edibles, but didn’t follow up with any documented examples.
A Los Angeles parent told cable news that edibles have her so worried, she’s going to swap out her kids haul with candy she bought ahead of time. In Orange County, Florida, mayoral hopeful Sheriff Jerry Demings is putting the scare into parents. “It looks like any other candy,” said Demings. “Sometimes there’s just mean-spirited people who infuse these type of products into our society to create confusion and injure our children and other people.”
Some believe the story originated from a Dear Abby column, but the razor apple story became a vague ‘stranger danger,’ a fear applicable to any community looking over their shoulder. This new version of the panic, where cannabis snacks are just being given to children instead of fun-sized Kit Kats, has more obvious political implications.
Despite there being no notable instances of it happening, talks of a child somehow ending up with an edible instead of a regular candy bar seems to follow cannabis everywhere it progresses towards legalization. The edible seemed to tag out the razor blade in Denver, not long after Colorado legalized pot. It is a tall tale evolved into a political talking point to make cannabis seem malicious. And it simply isn’t true.
If adults want to indulge on a freakier All Hallow’s Eve then that is their right. Obviously, children should not be eating THC candies. Their neighbors should not be handing out edibles. The fact the theory is malarkey doesn’t mean you should test it. But, if there are any houses out there on Halloween handing out $15 gummy bears that will knock me on my ass, by all means, point me in that direction.