You have likely heard the urban legend at some point: Some evil people like to insert razor blades in apples that they give out on Halloween.
Maybe it was started decades ago by some kid in a Roy Rogers getup who didn’t like getting apples instead of Clark Bars (who the hell does?). Or maybe somebody came up with it just for yucks. Tales of Halloween sadism of various kinds have been passed around ever since trick-or-treating became a thing.
In any case, a moment’s thought should be enough to tell you that the razor-blade myth is bunk. It doesn’t make any sense. Who would do that, and why? There are some psychos out there who want to hurt kids, but even if one of them wanted to do it in this way, they would be sure to be caught.
What kid isn’t going to remember which neighborhood dingus gave him or her an apple on Halloween? Nobody has ever been arrested for this offense, because, almost certainly, nobody has ever committed it. (You can’t prove a negative of course, but as far as anyone knows, there have been zero validated reports of this ever happening.)
The similar, weirdly widespread notion that people are planning to throw cannabis edibles into kids’ Halloween bags makes even less sense. For one thing, edibles tend to be expensive, so why would anyone waste them in this way? What purpose would it serve? To make a kid wonder why he felt weird an hour after scarfing down a treat flavored with artificial strawberry and a hint of bong water?
This myth has been passed around in earnest every year since states started legalizing weed and edibles started becoming widely popular. This year is no different, sadly. The urban legend is not only still being shared among gullible types on social media and in email forwards (yes, those still exist), but it’s being pushed by police departments and incompetent local news outlets (mainly TV, of course) across the country.
The TV-news droids do it because 1. They tend to take the word of cops as gospel despite the constant stream of lies that emanate from many police departments; and 2. They love a good scare story, especially one that lets them spread moral panic (remember “pharm parties” and “rainbow parties“?).
The cops might do it out of cluelessness, or they might do it for more nefarious reasons. This month, the St. Charles, MO police department issued an alert after a package of gummy worms was supposedly put into a kid’s bag at a Halloween-themed event. Hilariously, the department warned that the edibles in question were “Delta 88.”
After being ridiculed on Facebook, they clarified that they meant “Delta 8” THC, and not the long-discontinued Oldsmobile luxury model. It was never established that the package of gummies—if it even exists—came from the event, but the cops still felt compelled to issue a warning.
Critics say the cops might have issued the alert because they oppose Missouri’s upcoming legalization referendum, though that hasn’t been confirmed. In any case, even if the candies found their way into the kid’s bag at the event the way authorities claimed, it’s overkill to issue an “alert” in the absence of other, similar cases. None have been reported.
Such stories abound, one after another. Often, gullible reporters add frightening verbiage like “drug-laced” to ensure panic among their audience.
Last year, a group of state attorneys general issued a warning in the weeks leading up to Halloween about edibles that come in packages that look like any other kind of candy or other snacks. The timing was unfortunate, since the story was lumped in with all these other, more idiotic Halloween-season warnings, but this is a real problem, year-round.
It’s not worth freaking out over, but accidents do happen, and have increased with legalization. Getting suddenly very stoned after eating what you thought was regular candy can be a terrifying experience for adults and children alike.
Parents, in particular, should be careful with their edibles, and not leave them around for anyone, especially kids, to eat. But there’s no need to panic over your kid getting “drug-laced” treats in their Halloween bag. It’s just not going to happen.