As long as there have been children going trick-or-treating, there have been rumors about tampered Halloween candy. It used to be razor blades in apples, which was the major cause of homemade treats like popcorn balls and cupcakes being handed out now just a memory to older Baby Boomers. Then back in the 1970s, a sensational murder conviction of a father who poisoned his own eight year old son with cyanide-laced Pixie Stix — right after taking out a life insurance policy — led to more fear over any candy items that were not handed out in their original wrappings.
Today, our newest myth is that people are handing out cannabis gummies in kids’ candy bags. But like all the other scare stories, it’s myth, not truth. And research proves it out.
The newest findings come from University of Delaware Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice Joel Best, who says that the threat has been greatly exaggerated. Best explored this urban legend going back decades, and says that he has been unable to find any evidence that any child has been killed or seriously injured by any contaminated treat going all the way back to 1958. Yet this yearly charade still continues like clockwork.
Online myth-busting site snopes.com agrees, finding no evidence of cannabis edibles being deliberately placed in trick-or-treat bags. They note that the rumors began in 2010 when medical cannabis candies came onto the scene, and illegal cannabis brands that mimicked best-sellers like Sour Patch Kids and SweeTARTS, began to proliferate. While these look‑alikes are rapidly being stamped out by law enforcement and by copyright infringement suits, the real truth is that handing any of them out at the front door would rapidly become a prohibitively expensive undertaking.
Remember too that legally-purchased cannabis edibles must come in tamper-proof and child‑proof packaging — with labeling that identifies their THC content. The fear that cannabis gummies can’t be told apart from regular candy is unfounded.
This is not to say that young children have never ingested a cannabis edible. There is always the need for parents and family to be very vigilant at not leaving candy-like edibles out in the open where children can find them. Yes, you’ve heard of children bringing a whole bottle of cannabis gummies to school on trick-or-treat day for their class, thinking it was gummy bears — but that’s accidental, not deliberate, and it’s controllable.
So if you haven’t depleted your Halloween candy stash at the time of this reading, go ahead and enjoy it knowing it’s all good.