Police in Colorado are warning parents gummy bears and other sweets laced with marijuana could accidentally end up in their children’s Halloween trick-or-treat bags.
Colorado became the first in the US to legalise the recreational use of marijuana earlier this year. Since then, marijuana-infused products such as chocolates, cookies and sweets have gone on sale in shops selling the drug.
Anti-drug activists say these products are causing concern among parents who fear they could accidentally fall into their children’s hands.
Denver Police has produced a video demonstrating how similar some of these sweets look to regular ones in a bid to prevent children from consuming marijuana-infused products accidentally.
The force has also been promoting the issue on their Facebook page, by advising adults to inspect all sweets given out on Halloween before letting their children eat them.
It says anything that appears suspicious or not wrapped in recognisable wrapping should be thrown away.
Sergeant Brett Hinkle of the Denver Police Department’s marijuana unit, said here is a “tonne of different edible stuff” on the market laced with marijuana.
In the video warning issued by Denver police, the owner of one city marijuana shop displays the gummy bears and explains how some producers of lower-cost pot edibles buy cheap, generic candy in bulk, then infuse it by spraying it with hash oil.
"Once that candy dries, there is really no way to tell the difference, Patrick Johnson of Urban Dispensary, a Denver marijuana outlet, says.
"Some of these products look so similar to candy that's been on the market and which we've eaten as children, there's really no way for a child or a parent, or even an expert in the field, to tell."
In May, marijuana industry representatives, health professionals and law enforcement officials drafted new rules for the edible sweets after they were linked to two adult deaths in media reports.
One new requirement, already passed into law, means that all marijuana edibles must be shaped, stamped, coloured or otherwise marked with a standard symbol indicating they contain are not for consumption by children by January 2016.
Additional reporting by ReutersReuse content