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Attorneys General Issue Halloween Warning About Marijuana Edibles That Look Like Treats

There’s an old joke in response to a warning for parents to be on the lookout for marijuana edibles disguised as candy: nobody is giving away their edibles for free, Brenda (or Karen or Susan or Linda or Janet — you get the picture).

That hasn’t stopped the Attorneys General in five states from releasing a warning to residents to make sure they’re not being tricked by their kids’ treats.

Attorneys General in Ohio, New York, Illinois, Connecticut and Arkansas issued statements this week cautioning parents to be vigilant about identifying snacks that look innocent enough but are actually edibles containing THC.

The statements identified several marijuana edibles that look like real products — from Cheetos to Fruity Pebbles to Doritos and more — and advised parents to make absolutely certain what’s in their kids’ Halloween stash is the real deal, as consuming edibles could be extremely dangerous, even deadly, for young kids, especially if they eat an entire package at once.

halloween edibles that look like snacks but actually contain THC
Screenshot: NPR

Because the onset of effects from THC in edibles can take up to four hours to set in and symptoms can last much longer than they do with marijuana that is smoked, and because these symptoms affect children much more severely than adults, kids are at greater risk of serious complications following ingestion.

Warning signs of potential edible overdose in kids “can range from being unbalanced (loss of coordination), to any degree of sleepiness (from mild drowsiness to being unable to ‘wake up’), to poor respiratory effort (trouble breathing). Less commonly, children have developed coma and need a breathing tube and ventilator.”

While it may be true that nobody would give away their edibles for free, maybe some people somewhere unintentionally confuse lookalike edibles for the actual, name-brand products? (I’m looking at you, Great Aunt Edna.) Stranger things could happen.

At any rate, consider this your reminder to pay closer attention to what your kids bring home as you’re raiding their loot for your own consumption (it’s OK; we all do it). And if you do uncover anything that looks suspicious or is definitely the devil’s lettuce, report it to authorities right away.

After all, the scariest thing that should happen on Halloween is running out of candy before the porch lights go out.