Every Halloween there are safety concerns — especially surrounding the candy that children collect door to door. Most parents will carefully inspect their children’s Halloween candy haul to make sure things are wrapped and look like they haven’t been tampered with. Now there’s a new worry that doctors, drug enforcement agencies and health officials are warning parents to check candy for… drugs.
The Daily Mail reports that one California doctor warned of pot candies that might end up in kids’ trick-or-treat bags, while the St. Louis Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) shared that there are look-alike candies that have been seen in Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois that are actually meth or marijuana candies.
Meanwhile, marijuana dispensaries say that the possibility of edibles making it into the kids’ Halloween bucket really isn’t a concern, but health officials believe it’s better to be cautious.
There have been more cases of teens and children ending up in hospital ERs from consuming some form of weed, whether intentionally or not. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that marijuana-related ER visits increased by more than 60 percent between 2005 and 2011, the Daily Mail notes.
In Colorado specifically, there were 40 percent more people ages 13 to 20 years that went to the ER for marijuana-related concerns in 2015 than had a decade prior.
Similarly, California has seen an increase in ER visits related to edibles.
Dr. Roneet Lev, of the Scripps Mercy Hospital emergency department, told the San Diego Tribune that these marijuana consumption cases in the ER occur “on a regular basis.” Dr. Lev noted: “It would be hard to tell [if candy was marijuana-infused]. Some of the advertisements and packaging are very deceiving.”
One thing to look for in Halloween candy laced with meth or marijuana are those with knock-off humorous names, such as ‘Twixed,’ ‘KeefKat,’ ‘Rasta Reese’s,’ ‘Buddahfinger,’ and ‘Munchy Way.’
Children who consume these candies could experience sudden heart rate increases, panic issues, and other complications.
Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge William J. Callahan told KSDK: “Marijuana-laced or Methamphetamine-laced candies can go undetected, but have harmful effects on our children if ingested. Halloween is a time for kids to be kids and have fun with family and friends. We don’t want anyone falling prey to an avoidable tragedy.”
Callahan noted: “Please check your candy closely. If you come across any suspicious treats that have unusual wrapping or misspelled candy labels give it to your local police department.”
Further, KSDK notes that the Dublin Police Department in Georgia issued a similar warning, with Police Chief Tim Chatman explaining: “Just last week, we seized some drugs [methamphetamine] and it looked just like SweeTARTs.”
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