Parents, chill: you might be worried given the stories spread online, but nobody is spiking your kid's Halloween candy with molly. Or acid. Or razor blades. The urban legend-busters over at Snopes have this to say on the latest, Ecstasy-focused incarnation of the ancient poisoned-candy myth.
"The 'ecstasy in Halloween candy' warning looked to be a variant of age-old rumors about poison (and other dangerous substances) being randomly handed out to children in trick-or-treat loot, a persistent but largely baseless fear that's dogged Halloween celebrations for decades. Despite long-held beliefs that Halloween candy tampering is both commonplace and regularly results in harm to children, reports of actual attempts to do so are virtually non-existent (or based on half-truths)."
The warning circulated with this
image isn't accurate, either: these aren't "new shapes of Ecstasy" designed by evil drug dealers to fool kids. It's the same old MDMA, sold in a variety of shapes and colors since the 90s. Nor have there been any new incidents of unsuspecting kids overdosing. The warning has now been pulled from the Jackson, Mississippi Police Department's Facebook page.
Let's ponder why any drug dealer, whose goal is to make money, would give away their most lucrative product: drugs? In particular, why would they hand out MDMA, which can be expensive and difficult to get in large quantities? The answer is: they don't. Ever.
As The Incidental Economist reports, "in the only two documented cases of child deaths associated with Halloween candy, strangers were not to blame. Members of the child's immediate family were intentionally or unintentionally responsible for the poisonings."
But the bogus Facebook warnings continue, resurrected by folks who love a) feeling like they're in-the-know, and b) like they're Protecting The Children.
Better to re-direct that concern elsewhere - kids being twice as likely to get hit by cars on Halloween than any other night, for example.
Not as sexy a story. But at least it's something you should actually worry about.