Not So Sweet: Drugs in Halloween Candy
We have all been told to “never take candy from a stranger”. While it is important to be cautious around strangers, previous Halloween scares have shown us that maybe the phrase shouldn’t just be limited to strangers, and it could be relevant to just about anyone.
Halloween is a fun day full of parties and celebrations. It’s a day where anyone can dress up as anything or be anyone. Every kid’s favorite part of this festive day is when their parents send them out during the evening to go trick-or-treating and gather buckets of candy. However, over the past several decades, there have been cases where kids have been given drugs or sharp objects disguised as or inside Halloween candy. Just a few of these many cases have involved nails and needles in candy bars or apples, cannabis lollipops or cocaine in Pop Rocks Candy. As a result, more and more cities have gone so far as to ban trick-or-treating and even Halloween.
The decline of trick-or-treating began in the 1960’s when a rumor was started that neighbors were putting razor blades in apples. Consequently, the saying, “stranger danger," spread like wildfire. This became such a problem that the New Jersey state legislature passed a law shortly before Halloween in 1968 that anyone who put razor blades in apples would go to prison. This, however, did not hinder these heinous acts… thirteen more razor blades were found in apples that year throughout New Jersey’.*
More recently, in 2017, a Canadian town, Bathurst, New Brunswick, banned trick-or-treating for kids 16 and older and even set a city-wide curfew for 8:00 P.M. on October 31. According to this law, anyone over the age of 16 caught knocking on doors looking for candy, or wearing a “facial disguise” after curfew, could be forced to pay $200. This rule is a revision of a law passed in 2005, whose maximum trick-or-treating age was 14 and enforced a 7:00 P.M. curfew. The city passed this law believing that it would result in less troublemaking by teenagers.***
As a parent, you want your kid to be as safe as possible and would hope that your, or anyone else’s child, would never have to experience something as terrifying as this. In order to ensure that your child is well-protected and immune to such a disaster, you should be wary of the type of candy your child eats. If the candy wrapper has been tampered with, odds are it’s not safe to eat. Only let your kids eat candy that is in its original unopened wrapper. There have also been instances where certain states have offered free X-rays to detect any metal pieces that may have been ingested through candy. Be sure to check with your local hospitals to learn what services they provide.
With Halloween right around the corner, remember to keep an extra watchful eye out this year. If you have reason to believe that tainted Halloween candy harmed you or someone you know, don’t hesitate to contact Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey, LLC.