It's almost Halloween, which means everyone's planning their costumes and getting ready for a night filled with frights. But Halloween isn't just about scary movies and costume parties. It's also about scaring children into thinking their candy could be laced with marijuana.
Every Halloween, anti-marijuana advocates warn the public about people lacing trick-or-treat candy with marijuana. This has only increased in recent years as states have legalized recreational marijuana, leading parents to panic that someone's trying to poison their child with cannabis and turn them into a junkie.
The only problem is there are zero cases of this ever happening. Not even once.
A reporter from Vox looked at media reports in Colorado and Washington where people were warned about marijuana-laced candy being given out to children, and then contacted law enforcement, hospitals and poison control in those areas to see if there were any incidents of it happening. He found no cases of it happening. He also interviewed a Halloween candy contamination expert (which is apparently a thing), who said, “I’ve done research, and I can’t find any evidence that any child has been killed or seriously hurt by any candy picked up in the course of trick-or-treating. My view is this is overblown. You can’t prove a negative, but it seems unlikely.”
There's actually a long history of people freaking out about people poisoning Halloween candy. Back in the 1950s, there were reports of people heating pennies on skillets and dropping them into trick-or-treaters' hands. This then morphed into fears about people poisoning Halloween candy. A 1993 study by the University of Delaware found no cases of any Halloween mischief like this ever.
The rise of legal edibles has simply provided another avenue for people to worry about their children's safety during Halloween, as well as provide anti-legalization advocates with a weak argument to keep the drug illegal.
So if you're worried about your children eating marijuana-laced candy this Halloween, don't be. You should be far more concerned about the neighbors who give them apples instead.