“Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”
Those words of wisdom from Lindsay Lohan as Cady in the movie Mean Girls ring true, like the warning from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which recently identified thousands of illicit edible products have been seized in the form of candies, cookies, cereal snacks, and bottled soda, all containing varying amounts of concentrated tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive substance found in the marijuana plant. ?
According to the Sheriff’s Department, these items, packaged to resemble licensed commercial candy and snacks, are being produced locally in clandestine labs and residential kitchens. The items are packaged to be attractive to children and teens. Some items have no label to warn the consumer of their content, and many that are labeled do not contain a reasonable indication of drug content, recommended dosage, or instructions for use. Because their makers intend to remain anonymous, no contact information is listed.?
Some of the processes used to extract and concentrate the THC for the manufacture of these items include the use of chemical solvents, such as liquid butane, to extract THC from the plant material. We are concerned that the methods used to extract the drug may also extract any pesticide or fertilizer residue as well, carrying those potentially toxic chemicals into the items. We are currently pursuing additional testing of these items to better determine this possibility.
?Sheriffs Narcotics Detectives found that the places in which these items were manufactured were highly unsanitary, bringing the potential of other health hazards to users as well. It is the intent of the Sheriffs Department to seek and prosecute similar crimes in the Los Angeles area.
Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer, said,
“There are too many unknowns regarding the preparation and the amount of marijuana contained in these products. They can be easily mistaken for common foods due to improper labeling and packaging, leading to cases of intoxication from accidental ingestion of ‘pot cookies’ and ‘pot brownies’ that were thought to be ordinary, drug-free snacks. During the coming holiday, we urge parents to carefully screen their children’s treats to ensure that they are properly packaged and labeled, and are from trusted sources.”