Tampa Bay area police agencies see spike in drug-laced candy


NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) – Local police agencies are finding more criminals carrying drug-laced candy. There were two big busts in Sarasota and Charlotte counties just this week. And officials say loose marijuana restrictions across the country may be partly to blame.

Police officials showed 8 On Your Side some examples. There were normal Sour Patch Kids, gummy candies and even cookies. There was nothing out of the ordinary looking about them, but they were all laced with marijuana.

“A kid would never know that this is a drug,” North Port police spokesman Josh Taylor said.

North Port police busted three men this week who were carrying 300 packets of pot-laced gummies and cookies. And recently, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office confiscated a large amount of drug-laced gummy worms. In most cases, these candies come from out of state.

“It seems like every election another state becomes a little more lax on marijuana. And that’s fine in those states, but it’s important for people to know that it’s not the case here in Florida,” Taylor said.

Police say these candies may have been purchased elsewhere legitimately and brought to Florida to be sold. Officers worry the candy could get into the hands of children. Officials say consuming marijuana can have worse effects than smoking it.

Marijuana edibles take a few hours to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Since it takes longer, the user may end up eating more in an effort to get high.

Officials tell 8 On Your Side in many cases these are normal store brand candies sprayed with hash oil. Since they look and smell like normal candy, it’s very hard for police to enforce the rules.

“Our job isn’t to make the law. Our job is to uphold the law,” Taylor said.

Parents like Christa Dagley are concerned. “It looks like what he would eat and what any kid would want,” Dagley said. “(I’m) horrified and scared for my child. I’m scared to have him grow up.”

She is going to be very mindful of the candy her son Dylan eats. “I’m very scared to send my child to school,” Dagley added.

In order to keep your children safe, tell them to stay away from candy in strange or unfamiliar wrapping. In addition, monitor your children and make sure you know what they’re getting into.OTHER TOP-CLICKED STORIES:

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