by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director October 31, 2019

Today is Halloween, which means it is time for your local news to roll out the annual scaremongering story about how there are large groups of insidious people just waiting out there to give your trick-or-treating children free marijuana edibles. This is one of those marijuana myths that simply keeps coming back from the dead with a vengeance every time the Jack-O-Lanterns start popping up on your neighbors’ doorsteps.

No one is giving out edibles to children as Halloween candy. Given the average cost of a one dose edible can range from around ten to twenty five dollars it would not only be idiotic and wrong, it would also be incredibly expensive. There have never been any widespread reports of this happening in the real world, only in the minds of ratings-crazed newsrooms and fear-mongering prohibitionists.

While parents should always check their kid’s candy to ensure safety, this is one threat that shouldn’t rank too highly on their list of Halloween scares. There are always a very small amount of troubled people in the world, but it is a minor threat that is getting easier and easier to prevent as states move away from the unregulated illicit markets of prohibition to legalized adult-use markets. At state-licensed businesses, there are strict ID checks to keep marijuana products out of the hands of minors, and regulations on edibles that make them safer for adults and easier to identify to keep away from kids. Under prohibition, such products remain untested and those who produce and sell them are incentivized to make them look like any other food product to avoid the attention of law enforcement. Legalizing and regulating the responsible use of marijuana has countless benefits, and better enabling parents and communities to keep cannabis products away from young ones is among them.

Journalist Simon Moyer-Smith summed it up perfectly in an op-ed for NBC News published this week (that I encourage you read here):

“Halloween, of course, is a time of fear: ghouls, goblins, haunted houses and the sheer volume of leftover candy that will be around to tempt you. But it’s not a time to stoke fear about things that aren’t based in evidence and truth — and definitely not a time to demonize marijuana yet again.

So fear demons, drunk drivers and Dum Dums, but there’s no need to fear that edibles will be given out willy-nilly to trick-or-treaters on Halloween.”

NORML Nation, have a fun, safe, and evidence-based Halloween – and of course, enjoy your edibles responsibly.