Halloween is upon us, and parents everywhere are getting their kids ready to trick-or-treat. This also marks the start of police warnings circulating about the dangers of “spiked candy” – a time-old scare tactic that demonizes cannabis by default.
We’ve all heard the gory warnings while we were growing up: poisonous chocolate, razor blades in apples (as if passing out fruit on Halloween wouldn’t result in it being chucked right back in your face), and, of course, treats that have been infused with cannabis.
But, how much of a concern is any of this, really?
The History of Halloween-Themed Reefer Madness
Every year like clockwork, the warnings roll out. Reefer madness dates back well into the early 20th century, and Halloween is no exception.
As edibles continue to develop in flavor, potency, and packaging, the concerns continue to circulate – especially in regards to children. While today’s edibles look more like “regular” candy than ever before, isn’t that putting minors at that much more of a risk for accidental consumption?
This concern isn’t completely unfounded: there have certainly been instances of children accidentally ingesting edibles without having any idea what they’re actually consuming.
However, we’re playing a very dangerous game when we point the blame on the industry itself and not the adults who are in charge of the child’s wellbeing in the first place.
This form of weed panic is somewhat recent, especially since the market began legalizing back in the late ’90s/early 2000s. While most cannabis edibles during prohibition era were in the form of brownies or Rice Krispies, today they’ve evolved to include just about everything ingestible under the sun.
But although this can make things a bit confusing product-wise, it definitely doesn’t mean that a bunch of cannabis-crazed fiends are getting off on poisoning your children from their doorsteps every October 31st.
Why Halloween-Themed Cannabis Panic Makes Very Little Sense
With things like infused Nerds Rope, infused chocolate, and even infused soft drinks available throughout the cannabis industry, parents’ concerns that their children may mistakenly get into a THC-fueled product are absolutely understandable.
However, this risk lies a lot more in whether or not your kids have access to your cannabis stash – not whether or not cannabis consumers are running around throwing THC-infused Jolly Ranchers into the mouths of minors.
In fact, most instances of children ingesting cannabis edibles occurred because their parent or guardian wasn’t careful enough when storing their products, and the child had no way of knowing that the candy would potentially harm them.
The solution to this feels straightforward: talk to your kids about cannabis, let them know what its effects and possible risks are, and leave yourself open to any questions they might have.
Instead, the anti-cannabis clan points their fingers back at the industry in an attempt to keep the stigma going and relieve themselves of any sort of responsibility.
Of course, dangerous people exist – people who want to bring harm to others. It’s never a bad idea to be cautious. However, there are quite a few reasons this persisting panic around Hallween and weed is pretty ludicrous:
- There have been absolutely zero confirmed cases of cannabis-infused candies making their way into kids’ goodie bags on Halloween. Just as there is no evidence that cannabis has ever caused a fatal overdose, there is no evidence that cannabis has ever poisoned a child on Halloween.
- Legal edibles are required to be clearly labeled, with dosage and THC levels available on the packaging. Of course, this leaves room for the underground market, or anyone who’s created their own edibles at home.
However, you should be instructing your children to turn down unlabeled candy anyway, so as long as the candy you’re acquiring is safely wrapped up and unopened, there should be no cause for concern.
- Edibles are expensive. While a massive pack of Halloween candy is about twenty dollars at your local Target, cannabis-infused edibles will cost about that much (or even more) per individual-sized package.
It’s highly unlikely that anyone would want to spend that much money to give away a valuable product they could otherwise utilize for their own benefit – where is the motive?
These are just a few reasons it makes absolutely no sense to pass out cannabis-infused edibles on Halloween, but the bottom line is that there really isn’t any benefit to doing so, for the cannabis industry or otherwise.
In fact, if this was a real concern, it would be incredibly detrimental to the cannabis community and all of the progress we’ve been fighting for over the past several decades.
Rather than attempting to demonize an entire industry with half-baked and unfounded fear, parents should be focusing on searching for the real dangers out there and having open conversations surrounding the plant and how it’s perceived in today’s world.
Meanwhile, we see relatively few concerns about the very real perils of added sugar. Inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, increased blood pressure, fatty liver disease – the information is there, yet many parents regularly allow their kids (and themselves) sugar with little regard for the potential health implications.
Perpetuating cannabis stigmas do a lot more harm than good and continue to keep the general public in the dark about cannabis and all of its potential benefits. So in honor of past Halloween’s cannabis-related mistakes, try and keep an open mind this year.
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