It might look like harmless candy, but a 5-year-old boy trick-or-treating on Long Island had to be rushed to the hospital after eating gummies infused with cannabis, authorities say.
The young boy was out on Halloween in Shirley when someone dropped in his bag what appeared to be a small packet of “Starburst Gummies.” However, in the upper left corner of the bag is the word “medicated,” and small marijuana leaves appear to be patterned somewhat subtly on the packaging as well.
“Just to make something like that that looks like it’s for children is sad and it’s sick,” said Deanna McLean, a mother of a young girl. “It absolutely looks like candy.”
Police say the unidentified child got sick after eating one of the gummies and had to be hospitalized.
“Whether it was intentional or inadvertent, the fact that these products are on the market is part of the problem,” said Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, the head of Long Island’s Family and Children’s Association.
He said that says pot gummies have sickened so many kids in Colorado, pediatric emergency room visits there have increased 600% since marijuana was legalized.
“None of these products should exist. There’s no reason to have products that look like kids’ toys or kids’ candy,” Reynolds said.
While marijuana is legal in New York, selling products like the one that sickened the young boy is illegal.
Police have cracked down on stores selling them, but Reynolds said New York must be more aggressive in regulating them in the future.
“You really have to check the kids’ candy, especially during the holidays and Halloween,” he said.
Police are urging parents to do the same, looking through kids’ candy to make sure no illicit substances are waiting to be eaten.