June 19, 2005

Joint-flavored candy!?

Manufacturers call them a "harmless novelty," anti-drug advocates and lawmakers call them an insidious means to encourage youngsters to smoke marijuana.

Several confectionary manufacturers are now marketing candies flavored with hemp oil -- which gives the sweet treats an added flavor that at least simulates the flavor of marijuana.

"This kind of thing is reprehensible," said state Sen. Vincent Fort, an Atlanta lawmaker who has organized demonstrations against the candy. "It's nothing but dope candy, and that's nothing we need to be training our children to do."

While the candies have caught the attention of government and law enforcement officials across the country, there's nothing even questionable about their legality. Hemp oil is used in products ranging from health food to beauty supplies.

And all the companies contend their candies are geared toward adults and that they advise retailers to sell the candy only to people 18 and older.

Critics don't buy that argument, citing the kind of marketing on Chronic Candy's Web site, which shows video of people apparently smoking marijuana and a warehouse with hundreds of marijuana plants.

"It's pretty clear to see what they're trying to appeal to," said Pat Shea, of Cary, N.C., Southeast program director for the anti-drug DARE program. "They want to appeal to the wannabes. We always say that the wannabes are going-to-bes."

Mind you, these companies can't see the harm and potential harm that products like this can do to youngsters.

And before you point to pedestrian liquor-oriented products like rum raisin ice cream and whisky-soaked fruitcake (gak!), none of those products are marketed toward a drug-glorifying or booze-glorifying lifestyle.

Just damn.

Posted by mhking at June 19, 2005 04:25 PM
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