Poisoned or pot-laced candy that could ruin your Halloween

A marijuana-laced gummy bear, left, and a regular one look identical. (Credit: Rick Wilking/Reuters)

A marijuana-laced gummy bear, left, and a regular one look identical. (Credit: Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Blog post by Eric Bing 

For many decades, children and parents have been warned about the nefarious neighbours who might use Halloween as an opportunity to give out poisoned candy or razor blades in apples. But are these really legitimate concerns, or has this threat of Halloween sadists been vastly overblown?

You might want to give our Halloween-themed episode a listen to find out more:

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Joel Best, a sociologist from California, tells us that it’s really the latter. In fact after researching the topic more closely, he believes that the threat is practically non-existent. Joel investigated all of the cases reported to major media outlets over a 26 year period, and they mostly turned out to be hoaxes, often from children who wanted attention. While there was one actual case of genuine poisoning, it turned out to be a boy who was actually poisoned by his father. All in all, Joel couldn’t find a single case of random Halloween-related poisoning.

Marijuana-laced candy a thing?

Recently, with the spread of new laws legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in the US, there’s a new fear of marijuana-laced candy being handed out to children on Halloween. While not scary or dangerous as poison or razor blades, the extensive media coverage of the issue has already prompted to politicians and law-enforcement officials to react strongly.

In Colorado, which recently legalized marijuana, the Denver Police Department released a public service video urging parents to double-check their children’s Halloween haul for any candy that might be infused with marijuana.

Indeed, the fear is so widespread that Colorado’s public health department just recommended a ban on almost all forms of edible marijuana. One state company is also selling a “home testing kit” to parents worried about marijuana tainted Halloween candy.

Are these fears warranted? While according to health experts there’s a definite health risk posed by edibles for children, there are no documented cases of drug-laced candies being distributed on Halloween.




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