HALLOWEEN AND MARIJUANA EDIBLES: BE ALERT
Guest editorial by Jerry Garner, Chief, Greeley Police Department
Halloween used to be a joyous time when children could go out trick or treating in their neighborhoods without fear. Parents didn’t have to accompany them, neighbors made homemade goodies that weren’t suspect, and the most dangerous thing was the sugar high from candy.
Now many parents don’t allow children to go treat or treating in the neighborhood. They take their kids to Halloween parties at churches, malls and schools. They peruse their Halloween bags to make sure nothing dangerous has infiltrated the packages of candy.
And now there’s even more that parents need to be concerned about: marijuana edibles in packaging that looks frighteningly similar to favorite candies like Reese’s peanut butter cups, Oreo cookies, Butterfinger candy bars and more.
Law enforcement across the country is warning parents to carefully inspect treats before kids have the chance to ingest them. It’s also a good idea to have a conversation with your children. Show them photos of the “lookalike” marijuana edibles. Let them know that marijuana is illegal. Explain to older children and teens that marijuana can cause permanent damage to young developing brains and can be dangerous. Make sure they also understand that marijuana, when ingested, is much more unpredictable and can have wildly different effects on bodies. A single pot brownie can produce a mild high in one person, and produce a severe high with side affects like paranoia, nausea and even panic attacks in others. Finally, ask them to tell you if someone offers them marijuana in any form.
Finally, if you have trick or treaters come to your door that are obviously impaired by alcohol or drugs, contact your local law enforcement. Provide a description of the costumes they are wearing, the number in their party, your address and the direction they are traveling.
Here’s to a safe, and sober, Halloween.