It is a ridiculously common belief amongst parenting circles that a significant percentage of Halloween candy is laced with drugs. For the most part, these claims are unsubstantiated; when there are reports of candy being tampered with, it usually is bogus. Furthermore, in the few bonafide cases of candy tampering, it was a mistake with no real malicious intent. Nevertheless, it is still smart to err on the side of caution. But is there any weight to these assertions?
Recently a lot of articles have speculated that children’s candy might be cut with a bevy of superhero, social media inspired, or domino-shaped “candies” this Halloween. Supposedly, these ostensible treats are usually not candy, but rather a drug. More specifically: a pill form of ecstasy … Really?
Police have issued warnings that consuming these pills could cause very serious problems for children – and indeed, if a child were to ingest ecstasy there would be a lot of potential health hazards, including: drug overdose, mental de-stability, and dancing way, way, way too hard. Thus, they are recommending avoiding these pills entirely – their mantra being, “When in doubt, throw it out!” (or keep it for yourself… for further testing). The Jacksonville, Mississippi police department are the primary advisors on this issue, warning against this possible epidemic and heeding parents and children to keep alert nationwide… Their police department also advises parents to not let their children eat homemade treats, as these are less safe than mass manufactured ones.
This is all fine and good-natured, of course. It never hurts to be safe. But those of us with any credible experience know that the pills in question (and drugs in general) are extremely expensive – only a handful can easily be hundreds of dollars. This fact, combined with the aforementioned rarity of tampered candy, makes it unlikely, in this author’s opinion, that you’ll see any children given free ecstasy. That would just be really bad business on the drug dealer’s end right? I mean, let’s think about this thing from a free market economy perspective: you have access to a good that is hard for the general public to find, and in high demand. You can charge absurdly high prices, and often you do and you make a metric-shitload of money. Why on earth would you give out hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of free samples of this good, to children who’ll likely overdose, and who won’t even become addicted after only a single exposure? Ethically, economically, and logically that doesn’t really make sense. Ecstasy isn’t like heroine or meth – it isn’t “one and done” as the DEA might slogan. There just doesn’t seem to be a motive.
So rest easy parents! Sure, check through your children’s candy when they get home. If it makes you feel better. Pull a few out, even. If it makes you feel better. But don’t waste your time being paranoid about all the gracious drug dealers out there handing free samples of ecstasy out instead of halloween candy. And if you do discover someone in your neighborhood is handing out free drug samples, please, do the right thing – click the “contact author” button below and let me know who’s hooking it up and where they live.