Jerry Demings, the sheriff of Florida’s Orange County and president of the Florida Sheriff’s Association, joined together with other prohibitionists to initiate a fear campaign this week. He held a news conference to warn the public about the potential for cannabis edibles finding their way into children’s Halloween candy. Demings, who is a loud prohibitionist and against the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida, started the rumor though no actual threat or evidence of any such threat exists, according to the Orlando Sentinel, who investigated on the issue. The Miami Times also reported that Demings could not offer one case where this has ever happened.
No Prior Incident of Cannabis Edibles Contaminating Halloween Treats
In his statement, Demings warned the public about Halloween candy, saying, “Sometimes there’s just mean-spirited people who infuse these type of products into our society to create confusion and injure our children and other people.” Florida will be voting this November on whether to join 25 other U.S. states and D.C. in legalizing marijuana. He suggested that legalizing medical marijuana for people suffering from debilitating conditions would raise the potential of marijuana getting into children’s Halloween candy. The illegal black market has always made cannabis edibles available to buyers and this has never happened before.
Dr. Amanda Reiman, who is the Marijuana Law and Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance told Raw Story, “The same claim was made in states like Colorado and Washington after legalization and did not result in one case of cannabis-laden Halloween candy. Cannabis-infused products must be clearly labeled and packaged in child-resistant packaging. In many proposed state level regulatory schemes, edibles products cannot even be in shapes that would appeal to children.”
Scare Tactics are Nothing New
There have never been any incidents of cannabis edibles getting into the Halloween candy of children from any one of the places in the U.S. with legal medical marijuana or in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Colorado or D.C., where recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21 is legal. Yet, the same scare tactics were used in many of these states, by prohibitionists who wanted to scare the public away from a vote in favor of legalization.
In 2014, billboards went up across Colorado warning parents about stoners, who were excited by the notion of dumping marijuana edibles into the bags of trick or treaters. Of course, nothing came of it. Marijuana edibles are clearly labeled and marked in child proof packages. They are also expensive. If anything, there is more to fear from an unregulated black market than from a legalized, safe and regulated one.
No Truth to the Halloween Urban Legend
Razors in apples and other urban legends about Halloween candy have been circulating around the country for the last few decades, but none have actually turned out to have originated in truth. In one very sad incident, a father murdered his child, blaming it on Halloween candy, but the truth about the child’s death was revealed. Unfortunately, the myth thrived, despite the fact that its origin was false. Prohibitionist groups now prey on the fear generated by the urban legend to try and scare the public into prohibition. Thanks to savvy reporters from the Orlando Sentinel and the Miami Times, the truth still finds its way to the surface eventually.