NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Johns Creek police are issuing a warning to parents after seizing nearly 20 pounds of drug-laced candy from a home this week.
Police showed Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik pictures of what appeared to be gummy worms, peach rings and chocolate-covered caramels that they found packaged and ready for sale at a home. %
“They look absolutely like what you’d buy for your kids or what your kids would get in their trick-or-treat bags,” said Capt. Chris Byers.
To prove his point, Byers purchased the real candies and put them side by side with pictures of the drug-laced versions.
“They look like gummy worms or peach rings or chocolates and caramels that wouldn’t stand out to the average parent knowing there’s any danger there,” he said.
Byers said field testing of the candy showed levels of THC, the ingredient in marijuana that gives users a high, but because there’s no regulation of the products, there’s no way for the average person to know how much of the drug is in each piece.
“I would want to be very careful about the candy the kids are eating, the packaging it came from. If anything is loose I wouldn’t allow them to eat it,” he said.
Petchenik showed pictures of the candies to parents and children, and nobody could tell the difference.
“I think it’s scary that it’s available and so readily available,” said Kandace Henry. “As a parent I wouldn’t know that’s what it was.”
Parent Kavida Naidu watched in shock as her 6-year-old son identified the pictures as candy that he would want to eat.
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“Awful, it’s dangerous,” she said. “Awful.”
The director of Ga. Poison Control told Petchenik his office has had about 100 complaints in the last five years about marijuana-infused candies.
“The problem with eating marijuana is that the effects are stronger and they last a long time,” said Dr. Gaylor Lopez. “It takes a couple of hours to work. Then after it starts working, it last like a handful of hours.”
Lopez said there’s no way to know how much THC is in each piece of candy, so effects on people will vary. He also said the THC level in the candy is much stronger than in smoked marijuana.
“Euphoric type of effects, feeling kind of high,” he said.
Lopez said the effects could be amplified in small children who ingest the drug-laced candy.
“They’ve got a child who’s irritable, fussy and having the signs and symptoms of marijuana intoxication that can be a major problem,” he said.