Beware of THC-Laced Candy

Gummies in bulk in glass containersAmong all of the gummy candies, gummy bears are among the most beloved. However, many parents are now opting for other favorites due to the rise of THC-laced gummies. The rise of THC gummies, or candies made with tetrahydrocannabinol (the psychedelic property found in marijuana), have become increasingly popular in the medical marijuana market, which may be why increasing numbers of young people are arriving at emergency rooms, ill from high dosages of the drug.

Many medical marijuana users prefer to ingest THC with edibles like gummies and baked goods rather than to smoke marijuana. According to Dan Anglin of the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, drug-infused edibles comprise approximately half of Colorado’s legal cannabis market.

House Bill 1366, passed in 2014, required state regulators to devise laws on edible cannabis products so they are more identifiable when out of their packaging and less appealing to young people. However, kids who are not typically instructed to check for an identifying stamp or emblem on candies may accidentally ingest THC-laced candies. Children are also still at risk to be enticed by the unmarked THC gummies in circulation due to homemade production.

Unmarked gummies may have been at play when 12 Naperville North High School students ingested THC gummies and were sent to Edward Hospital for their accelerated heart rates, agitation, dizziness, and dry mouth. The two teens who distributed the weed gummies were charged with the delivery of marijuana. Another case of THC illness was reported when 11 Indiana teens ate less than one gummy bear each. “The strength is so strong that it caused an adverse reaction in 11 people – not one person, not three – it wasn’t just a small batch or a bad batch”, said Indiana Police Capt. Kellems.

The effect of THC is accelerated when eaten rather than smoked, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. Most edible marijuana is metabolized by the liver, which then produces a kind of THC that has a bigger psychedelic punch than the THC that reaches your blood plasma when you smoke it. The high will last much longer too, up to 12 hours.

The best thing you can do to keep your child safe this Halloween season is to carefully inspect your child’s candy. Here are a few rules you can follow to keep THC laced candies from your children this Halloween:

  • Discard candies printed with a marijuana leaf emblem on the packaging or on the candy itself.
  • All candy packaging should appear to be straight from a factory. Do not allow candies that have been hand-packaged.
  • Be wary of abnormally sized and shaped gummy bears. The gummy bear molds often used to make THC gummies are larger than the typical gummy bear size.
  • When it doubt, throw it out!

 

Marijuana Laws: The Ins and Outs in Illinois (Part 2)

marijuana possessionMARIJUANA LAWS : POSSESSION IS THE CRIME

Remember, when it comes to marijuana or any illicit drug, possession – not ownership – is the crime. “It isn’t mine,” is not a defense. Plus, if someone has marijuana in his or her car and gets pulled over by a police officer who smells it, the officer has probable cause to search the car.

  • Possession of less than 2.5 grams of marijuana is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a jail term of up to 30 days as well as a $1,500 fine.
  • Possession of between 2.5 – 10 grams of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment as well as a $1,500 fine.
  • Possession of paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison, as well as a minimum fine of $750. All paraphernalia is subject to forfeiture.

 MARIJUANA: LAWS VARY BY LOCALE

Depending on where you live and how much you have on you, getting caught with marijuana can either spell big trouble or an expensive fine.  Some towns and cities have local laws that allow police to write tickets instead of making arrests when people are caught in possession of small amounts of cannabis.

In Chicago, for example, possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a more lenient ordinance violation, similar to a traffic ticket. Note, though, if caught with weed in a school zone or park or in public openly smoking marijuana, you’ll still get arrested! Those cited with Chicago ordinance violations will be forced to pay a fine up to $500 depending on the amount of cannabis in possession.

Unfortunately, these local laws are often misunderstood. First of all, an amount that is eligible for a ticket in one place may not be in another. The maximum amounts vary from 2.5g to 30g. In addition, there are many circumstances that can affect the violation, including:

  • Age.
  • The location (airport, school, park).
  • Prior convictions.

To learn more about Illinois marijuana laws, or the effects of marijuana visit RecoverGateway.org/marijuana.

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