On Halloween, the Denver Police Department's warnings about trick-or-treaters possibly being slipped marijuana edibles reached its peak with the graphic seen here -- one that essentially suggests, against all available evidence, that pot candy could kill children. But if DPD reps hoped the #CheatTheReaper hashtag would become a thing, they must have been sorely disappointed. A Twitter search this morning showed it wasn't used a single time that day -- a total that matches the number of marijuana dosings reported in the city in the wake of the Halloween festivities.
As we've reported, Denver cops first broached the subject of pot edibles dangers on Halloween in mid-September, via a marijuana podcast accessible here. By the middle of October, the DPD had upped the ante via a video on the subject. Here it is:
These scare tactics caused a backlash on the DPD's Facebook page, with readers scoffing at the notion that marijuana users would give away expensive cannabis edibles simply out of maliciousness. Here are some examples:
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.
On the big day itself, the DPD sponsored its regular Halloween event, highlighted in this tweet....
Marijuana Deals Near You
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) October 31, 2014
...and subsequently shared pics of Chief Robert White interacting with happy youngsters. Here's one....
...and another.... ...and another: After Halloween was over, USA Today checked with Children's Hospital and discovered that no marijuana poisonings had been reported -- an outcome that led the paper to declare that fears about the possibility were "overblown."
Joe Hodas agrees. The spokesman for Dixie Elixirs, who'd written an op-ed for the Denver Post declaring the "Halloweed" controversy to be unfounded and insulting, shared the USA Today article on his Facebook page along with a single word: "Surprise."
Thus far, the DPD hasn't responded to the results on Facebook or Twitter. But the department can hardly claim that the lack of incidents proves its efforts succeeded. As 7News noted in advance of the holiday, only one child per year in 2012 and 2013 was reportedly exposed to marijuana -- and there's no indication that these situations came about as a result of ingesting candy given to them by strangers while trick or treating.
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It's not tough to solve a problem that doesn't actually exist. Here's the station's piece:
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.