For decades, community members, police, and media outlets have warned of the dangers of tampered Halloween candy. Razorblades, poison, and pot are all supposedly “threats” stuffed in treats this time of year. But is that actually the case?
Where Did The Pot-Laced Candy Myth Originate?
While few “Halloween Sadism” cases have existed over several decades, most of the reports and claims are unsubstantiated. Some, including CNN, have pointed to Judy Klemesrud’s October 1970 New York Times article for spreading the narrative. For her article, Klemesrud spoke with then-New York Health Commissioner Dr. Hollis S. Ingraham, who encouraged parents to inspect all candy before eating. Dr. Hollis offered the advice based on alleged reports of pins, razorblades, glass slivers, and poison appearing in kids’ candies in recent years.
No matter the case, reporting like this has continued, spiking in specific years. Depending on the person asked, you may hear that cannabis has been part of this Halloween fear-mongering equation since the 1960s or 70s, aligning with the War on Drugs. Others, including most respondents that High Times spoke to for this article, report hearing of pot-laced Halloween candy around the time legalization began to spread across the U.S.
In 2017, Pennsylvania police helped kick off a new wave of cannabis concern when officers warned parents of pot-laced treats. The warnings from law enforcement and public leaders have continued since. Iowa and Massachusetts have been two of several examples of warnings during the holiday season.
Lauren Fontein, co-Owner of West Hollywood-based dispensary and delivery service The Artist Tree, said she began to hear about the rumors around 2016 or 2017. Operating an edibles line at the time, the mom of three didn’t want to see her products end up in kids’ hands.
“We made it a point to clearly label our products as …
Author: Andrew Ward / High Times