Last month, we shared Denver Police Department concerns about trick-or-treaters possibly being slipped marijuana edibles on Halloween. Literally hundreds of readers ripped such fears as unreasonable and reactionary. But rather than backing down, the DPD upped the ante with a video on the alleged threat, plus a Facebook campaign rolled out over the past couple of weeks. Thus far, the majority of those who've responded to the department on Facebook have been more upset by what they see as fear-mongering than by the prospect of kids being dosed without their knowledge.
Here's one of the DPD's Facebook graphics....
...and another.... ...and another: Each of these images is accompanied by similar text, noting the number of days until Halloween before adding: "Denver parents have an interesting predicament this year, in the fact that recreational marijuana is legal. We advise that you should thoroughly check your children's candy, and not just for homemade, opened, or suspicious items, but also for any marijuana edibles that look eerily close to mainstream candies kids eat every day. Case in point, can you tell which of these candies is a marijuana edible?" The posts don't answer this question, presumably because the goodies' similar appearance make the DPD's point. However, most Facebook commenters have been critical of the efforts. Here are a few examples:
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This is so blown out of proportion... Ridiculous.
Yep.....I am done with this page. This is ridiculous fear mongering. Some of us need marijuana for medical reasons. My doctor is 100% supportive of it for me. No one is going to give their precious edibles out.
Stop fear mongering. I mean seriously.. what stoner is gonna pass out eatibles to kids? they'll be gone before they even start trick or treating. not to mention when do you ever let kids eat candy with no package? I mean come on. all eatibles are properly labeled with their thc content, so unless you are too dumb to check your kids candy for rappers or under educated and can't read this isn't gonna happen. and in the off chance it does the worse that's gonna happen is the kid gets some giggles and wants more candy. STOP FEAR MONGERING AND SPREADING YOUR IGNORANCE. but that's what tghe dpd gang does well.
Ohh dont forget to fearmonger about EBOLA too. Be careful for that ebola laced candy now parents.
The DPD's campaign appears to be based almost entirely on the possibility of pot edibles being given to trick-or-treaters rather than past problems. 7News reveals that in 2012 and 2013, only one child per year was reportedly exposed to marijuana -- and there's no indication that these incidents came about as a result of ingesting candy given to them by strangers. Indeed, Dr. Christopher Colwell, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Denver Health, tells the station most kids treated for marijuana ingestion got it from parents, family members or care givers.
Such facts seem unlikely to convince the DPD to dial back its campaign, however. One Facebook user writes, "Are they really going to be posting this nonsense every day until Halloween?" He adds: "It's going to be a long week."
Here's the 7News report about pot edibles and trick-or-treating, followed by the Denver police video on the topic.
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Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.