Pot Edibles Give Cops Something to Chew On
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Pot Edibles Give Cops Something to Chew On


Cops are used to the tell-tale signs of someone who’s been hitting the blunt, and they know what to look for when they’re searching a car, a locker or someone’s backpack for some weed. It’s pretty straightforward—pot is green, leafy and smells like, well, pot. Right? Not necessarily.

Lately, cops have been coming across an entirely new problem. Throughout the nation, people are transporting hundreds of pounds of pot disguised in edibles—everything from lollipops to chocolate bars to baked goods—and it’s going to be tough for the fuzz to catch them.

Puff the Magic Marshmallow

Police Chief Jim Jeffries in LaFollette, Tennessee recently came across a family traveling in a Chevy Blazer packed full with 24 pounds of weed-laced cookies and hard candy in the shape of gingerbread men–which is weird, because it wasn’t Christmastime. There was also a big tub of pot butter for baking off more cookies.

If that’s not enough, the cops also found a big bag of Kraft marshmallows, which seemed innocuous enough until they found a meat injector in the car. Police quickly figured out that the marshmallows had been injected with the pot butter.

Pot butter-stuffed marshmallows? It’s not only illegal, but it’s a disgusting combination. Couldn’t they have exercised a little more culinary creativity? Maybe they were too stoned.

Salable Edibles

Edibles burst onto the scene in the marijuana-legal states of Colorado and Washington, where anyone 21 or older can buy them legally. It’s also legal to buy edibles with a medical card in half the states that have legalized medical marijuana.

Some guys got smart and saw an opportunity to mix dope with sugar. From Cheeba Chews to vegan Mondo Bars to Dixies Elixirs and  Edibles, these guys are harvesting profits from chewy sweets that can get you high. The first year pot was legal in Colorado, nearly five million edibles were sold.

Health officials and cops weren’t prepared for the edibles onslaught, and they certainly weren’t expecting people to start smuggling weed in the form of brownies, cakes and cookies.

Don’t Take Candy From a Pothead

Even in states where weed is legal, there seems to be a bit of a problem with edibles. Entrepreneurs, or even your average pot-smoker, aren’t apt to put weed in things like turkey sandwiches or eggs. Instead, they shove it in sweets and candy, and there’s one demographic that’s more into sweets than potheads: Kids.

Children and adolescents have already been caught accidentally chewing off bits of their parents’ magic brownies or cookies. This is disturbing not only because kids might get a bit freaked out when they suddenly lose control over their cognition, but because extensive research shows marijuana has adverse effects on young brains.

Edibles pose another problem with kids. Even those adolescents who eat weed intentionally may not be prepared for the way it reacts in the body when digested through the stomach. It takes a lot more time for that high to hit when you eat space cakes than when you smoke weed. So in the pursuit of getting high, kids may totally overdo it on the edibles, ending up with panic attacks, paranoia and even psychosis from pot overkill.

Cat and Mouse

The smuggling of edibles is just another episode in the age-old game of cat-and-mouse between law enforcement and pot consumers. Eventually, weed will be legal throughout the nation, or at least most of the nation, and that might help regulate edibles and promote public education about how differently the body processes weed in a brownie from weed in a bong.

Until then, the cops are going to have to get out the pot-sniffing canines. And the kids are going to have to learn the hard way how to eat their weed like a lady.

Photo courtesy of David Castor (dcastor) (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)

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About Author

Tracy Chabala is a freelance writer for many publications including the LA Times, LA Weekly, Smashd, VICE and Salon. She writes mostly about food, technology and culture, in addition to addiction and mental health. She holds a Master's in Professional Writing from USC and is finishing up her novel.