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Denver Police Stoke a New Halloween Fear—Pot-Laced Candy

You really think people are going to give marijuana away?

(Robertson, Lew/the food passionates/Corbis )
smithsonian.com

Halloween is a time of fear—of zombies and witches and scary people in masks, but also of the kind propagated by media reports and jumpy parents nervous to send their kids trick-or-treating. After all, what if someone's idea of a trick is messing with your kid's candy?!

While people have found razorblades or pins or what-have-you in candy, like, a couple of times, as a rule, you "are more likely to get attacked by a samurai sword wielding bear while trick or treating than be poisoned by a stranger.”

This year, that old scary story is getting a new coat of paint: In Denver, where marijuana was legalized just 8 months ago, police are warning parents to be on the look-out for pot-infused candy.

“A kid is not going to be able to tell the difference,” said Ron Hackett, a police spokesperson, to ABC News. “My daughter is 7 years old. She could care less if it’s growing mold. She’s going to eat it.”

Well, first of all, based on more than 20 years of tracking, the odds of something untoward being snuck into your child's candy are infinitesimally small. Second of all, what are the odds that Colorado's newly legal pot users are going to be just giving the stuff away? Probably low.

Conclusion: extra-special gummy bears should not be high on the list of parental worries. What parents should actually be worried about? Try traffic, says the Wall Street Journal: “Traffic deaths among young pedestrians go up fourfold on Halloween night.”

About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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