Marijuana candy for Halloween? NJ prosecutor says watch out this year
TOMS RIVER — Parents are being warned to check their kids collection of Halloween candy for edible marijuana.
The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office said in a Facebook post there is a "significant presence of marijuana candy and other edible forms in New Jersey and nearby states" which poses a risk to users.
It is also illegal in New Jersey with the same penalties for possession of straight marijuana, according to Ocean County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Al Della Fave.
The candy usually takes the form of hard candy, gummy candy and chocolate and contains Tetrahydrcannabinol (THC), the main cause of a "high" after using it.
Parents should look for candy in "unusual" candy packaging such as a plastic bag. The candy is often in wrappers that resemble regular candy packaging at first glance but have names such as "Buddahfinger," "Twixed" and "Keet Kat." It may also have an odor similar to that of a marijuana plant.
Della Fave said that marijuana candy is expensive and that people use it mostly for medicinal purposes.
No cases have come up in Ocean County but Della Fave said the warning is important.
"Terrorist attack, robberies, anything that could case harm to an individual is slim but the bottom line is this. Because of that slim chance in today's day and age we want to educate parents that this product exists so at the very least they check the kids candy at the end of the night and if they see something is not wrapped or the wrapper has no manufacturers labeling throw it out," Della Fave said.
The high in marijuana candy may take longer to take effect, but it could be stronger than anticipated.
The prosecutor's office said if you come across marijuana candy, you should turn it over immediately to police.
Symptoms include dizziness, shallow breathing, red eyes and dilated pupils, dry mouth, increased appetite and slow reaction time, paranoia, anxiety, depression and short term forgetfulness.
If is recommended to wear vinyl or non-latex gloves while handling it, and to thoroughly wash your hands after handling.
The message from the prosecutor's office did not point to any reported cases of marijuana candy being distributed to trick-or-treaters in New Jersey. According to a 2015 report by the Guardian, police in Denver issued similar warnings in recent years, though the AP reported in 2014 — year recreational marijuana became legal in Colorado — no instances of marijuana candy being given out.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com