Holidays

Colorado Bags Warnings About Pot-Laced Halloween Candy, But Florida Still Scaring Parents

After hysterical Halloween 2014 headlines, this year the Denver Police Department and Smart Colorado have abstained from warning the public about crazed criminals who give pot-laced candy to trick-or-treating kids. Maybe that's because no such criminals were reported last year. Or because cops and concerned parents alike realized that the cost of handing out cannabis candy is prohibitive, even for perverts.

Just like the dark myths of razor blade-laden apples and lollipops laced with poison, marijuana-infused candy was at the top of the scare charts for some parents last Halloween— during marijuana's first year of adult-use legalization— after a warning video issued by the DPD told parents about the physical similarities between Halloween candies and their pot-infused counterparts. A billboard sponsored by Smart Colorado also revved up the paranoia, showing generic pieces of candy under the line "Can you spot the pot? Marijuana Candy. Trick or Treat?" 


Either the group's efforts worked miraculously well or were simply unwarranted, because both states that allowed recreational marijuana sales last year, Colorado and Washington, reported zero cases of children ingesting pot-laced Halloween candy. "I think there was some fear-mongering going on there," Drew Fowler, a spokesman for the Seattle Police Department, told the Associated Press last year.


This year, both the DPD and Smart Colorado are easing back on the Halloween marijuana warnings, focusing instead on broader issues. The closest the Denver police came to a marijuana warning was a message to kids on its Facebook page, telling them to "have an adult check your candy before eating it." Smart Colorado changed its focus this year, too, since co-founder Gina Carbone says marijuana-laced candy "wasn't a big concern." Instead, Smart Colorado unveiled a billboard earlier this week warning youth about the dangers of very potent marijuana. 

Colorado's reasoned approach hasn't affected the mouths of the South, however. Just today, Florida Poison Control Centers and the Drug Free America Foundation issued a warning titled “Beware that Treats may be Tricks this Halloween,” and alerting Florida parents to a "dangerous trend of drug-laced candies."

“New forms of marijuana, especially edible products, could contain up to 80% potency of the active ingredient in marijuana that gets you high,” says Calvina Fay of the Drug Free America Foundation. “In states where marijuana is legal, these edibles have contributed to a rise in accidental ingestion by children. Although marijuana is not legal in Florida, these products still make their way into our state."

The warning admits that Halloween candy poisonings are rare, but couldn't resist the old adage: "When in doubt throw it out."


Watch the Denver Police Department's 2014 edibles warning below.


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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell