On the Tuesday before the Halloween holiday, New York Attorney General Letitia James Issue a worrying alert to the consumer Directly targeting the parents of her mandate.
New York legalized adult cannabis use in March, but there is no regulated commercial market yet. At least part of that void, James cautioned, is being filled with cannabis products “deceptively designed to look like standard snack foods and candy.”
This is an old phenomenon. Whether labeled as “remix culture”, “logo breakout” or something else, underground markets of all kinds – fashion, food, music – are full of derivative references to mainstream brands. A special cannabis culture showed love of malicious gestures toward familiar brands (or at least even Lawyers get involved).
But James wasn’t worried about copyright infringement. In her release, citing the nationwide increase in poison control center visits by children who accidentally (or not) ingested their parents’ cannabis food — with 2,622 calls registered nationwide in the first half of 2021 — she warned of the danger ” Extremely dangerous to human health”, including weeds that can kill you.
And James was not alone. Similar warnings have been issued by attorneys general in at least five other states.
Despite the prevalence of marijuana legalization and the acceptance of cannabis as an acceptable product in polite culture, the annual ritual of fear-mongering around Halloween seems to be getting worse. And elected officials like prosecutors do.
“In light of the increase in accidental overdoses among children nationwide, it is more imperative than ever that we do everything in our power to stem this crisis and prevent further harm, or even worse death,” she said in her statement.
According to the National Institutes on Drug AbuseScience has not yet recorded a single death attributed solely to a cannabis overdose. This would seem enough by itself to classify James’ warning to the consumer as a strange overreaction, if not an irresponsible promotion of fear (“dangerous”? “crisis”? “death”?) with very questionable timing.
Columnist Jacob Salloum has also written for yearsEach September and October, authorities issue warnings about Halloween candy contaminated with cannabis. And every year, not a single verified report of contaminated Halloween candy can be found.
Yet, somehow, every year, The ritual repeats itself. And the legalization of marijuana did not stop this nonsense. Instead, it gets worse.
On the same day, Ohio State Attorney Dave Yost published Similar warning. Unlike James, Yost specifically invoked the Halloween fallacy.
“The levels of THC in these counterfeit products may have some real and devastating consequences for children,” Yost said. “Parents should be extra careful, especially around Halloween, that these fakes don’t end up in treat bags.”
But since Yost’s office later had to confess to reporters who bothered to ask them a basic question, This never happened.
Although Bonta shied away from suggesting weed products can kill you, he did say that cannabis products using mainstream brands are all unregulated, contain THC levels that exceed state legal limits, and therefore “pose a public health and safety risk.”
Similar reports have come from other prosecutors across the United States. Connecticut. Illinois. Oklahoma. Not all examples specifically mention Halloween, although Yost and Illinois AG Kwame Raul did. (Those who did not have to know that timing would ensure that they are interpreted as such.)
In each case, the attorney general’s warnings were greeted with an avalanche of suspicion and ridicule from the public as well as from the media—or, in the latter case, at least when the media weren’t echoing their warnings verbatim.
Because, in every case, there is no reliable evidence that cannabis-tainted Halloween candy is a thing. But in 2021, with warnings coming from elected attorneys general rather than anti-drug or law enforcement activists for whom low-level drug seizures have been bread and butter, the cannabis and Halloween frenzy has reached new lows.
“Every year it gets worse,” noted Justin Strickall, political director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
Another cannabis reformer and former government regulator added, speaking in the background: “It’s as if the government needs the click bait as well.”
It’s not clear why this swarm of US attorneys general — many in states where adult cannabis use is legal — all issued similar warnings last week, and whether the warnings were somehow coordinated.
James’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent to her office via an online form on Sunday.
What is clear, however, is that such warnings do nothing but perpetuate a heartbreaking and explosive legend, and seem to generate little derision from the public.
At a time when confidence in government institutions has fallen to the lowest historical level, by pollThe annual marijuana craze on Halloween makes this very scary development needlessly worse.