Every year, there are warnings about marijuana food disguised as Halloween candy. We got Colorado poison control numbers to prove it’s a myth.
DENVER – People don’t give your kids marijuana to eat on Halloween.
It seems to be a legend that will not die, even this year. However, Denver-based Rocky Mountain Poison Control (RMPC) has not seen this happen – not once.
“Every year comes, and I can say every year by now — Sweet Pot is not served to kids (people consider their bowl a precious commodity and they don’t want to waste it on kids!), RMPC Director Shireen Banerjee told Next up with Kyle Clark By email.
Banerjee, who is also a clinical toxicologist, said her department gets questions about this every Halloween, but she doesn’t know where this misinformation comes from.
“I wish I knew because we’re going to try to start targeting that…the source to say, ‘Stop doing that,'” she said in an interview. “We get a lot of inquiries every year asking, ‘Is that right? Do you see this?'” And we’re doing a lot. From observation, and to date I have never had, heard of, or seen any instance of edible marijuana being given to children in place of regular Halloween candy.”
RMPC sees occasional ingestion of marijuana foods among children, usually 4 to 12 cases per month. However, Bangeri said these calls equal a small percentage of their total cases when you consider that RMPC may receive between 30,000 and 40,000 calls a year about exposure to any substance.
Panjiri said most calls about children are about pain relievers such as ibuprofen or household cleaners.
as Reported by NPRIn Ohio, New York, Illinois, Connecticut and Arkansas, attorneys general issued statements this week advising parents to be aware of the dangers of eating marijuana at this time of year.
“Parents should use extra caution, especially around Halloween, not to end up with these counterfeit products in treat bags,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost wrote in a news release.
In Colorado, like Ohio and other states, foodstuffs cannot be sold in packages that would be considered attractive to children. In fact, there are several criteria when it comes to selling marijuana in Colorado:
- Marijuana food should not be in the form of a human, animal or fruit.
- The word “candy” or “candy” cannot be used on any packaging or label.
- All regulated marijuana packaging and all edible products must be labeled universal symbol label On product to prevent accidental ingestion of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
- Child-resistant packaging is the standard for marijuana packaging to prevent children from being accidentally ingested.
If a local licensed distributor is caught selling products in violation of these rules, he could face fines of up to $100,000, and could lose his license to sell marijuana products.
Panjiri acknowledges that the number of children in Colorado who are eating is increasing, Reflects the national trend. The number of Colorado kids taking marijuana has increased steadily in recent years, rising from 37 in 2015 to 109 in 2020, although local data doesn’t show a rise around Halloween.
“Most of the time, it’s a commercially acquired product that’s not left in a child-proof container, or just left out. They take it out of that and leave it on the counter, and the kid just thinks of regular candy,” Bangeri said.
She advises that if a parent has doubts about a particular candy, they should discard that piece.
If RMPC finds anything suspicious on its end, it will share that with other agencies in the state including the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment.
If you suspect that you or your child has been exposed to an unsafe substance, call the 24/7 RMPC Hotline at 1-800-222-1222.
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