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The Truth About Halloween Candy Scares

Born in 1986, this '80s baby and '90s kid remembers the colorful and naughty side of millennial youth.

Oh bother! Every year, stolen pictures of 1990s "club scene drugs" are mixed up with harmless images of Sweetarts.

Oh bother! Every year, stolen pictures of 1990s "club scene drugs" are mixed up with harmless images of Sweetarts.

Oh Bother, Christopher Robin is nowhere near drugs.

Every year, well-meaning adults who never fact-check anything fall prey to the old, tired, laughable hoax of imaginary drug dealers giving out illegal and dangerous contraband for Halloween.

It is true that parents should examine all trick or treat candies before allowing their children to enjoy them, but they should also be aware that not everything they hear on television or read on social media is the truth.

Throughout the 1990s, stolen pictures of Molly/Ecstasy from various police reports began finding their way into chain emails via Yahoo and AOL, warning parents that nefarious scoundrels were waiting in each and every American home, just to give expensive drugs to kids on Halloween night.

Then on September 20, 2022, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel stirred the pot on Fox News by rambling the quote: "Just last month, 2,000 pounds of fentanyl came across our border. That could kill 500 million people. We’re coming into Halloween. Every mom in the country right now is worried, what if this gets into my kid’s Halloween basket?" She followed with "The rainbow fentanyl, what if my teenager gets this?" in a rant laden with faux-concern.

While it is true that DEA Administrator Anne Milgram had stated that the bright colors were meant to attract younger customers, at no point did anyone at the United States Drug Enforcement Administration ever say the drugs were in Halloween candy, nor did they say anything about children. "Younger customers" usually references college-age adults, but when most people hear about the youth, they instantly think of innocent kids trick or treating.

According to fact-checking website Snopes, this is yet one of many elaborate Halloween hoaxes nerve-wracked parents fall victim to each year.

Just as was seen with the Ecstasy scare of the 1990s, there's no real truth to the idea that expensive, hard-to-obtain, illegal drug candies are going to make their way past the Tootsie Rolls and lollipops. Drug dealers target those with disposable cash, which means that most children are unlikely to cross hairs with these despicable miscreants.

With the high cost of CBD candies for adults, your child is more likely to find a Pez dispenser in their trick or treat bag than one of these gummies.

With the high cost of CBD candies for adults, your child is more likely to find a Pez dispenser in their trick or treat bag than one of these gummies.

Fact-checker Snopes has a separate area of their website to inform parents about Halloween hoaxes, with articles dating back to the 1990s. They routinely update their website to help parents de-stress before the spooky festivities.

Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, yet another hoax that won't go away is the falsehood behind strangers giving out CBD candies for Halloween.

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While it is true that some states will allow gummies, chocolates and other confectionaries made with hemp and CBD oil, stores that sell the candies legally often place them on high shelves or under lock and key. You must be an adult to purchase the candy and most consumers are carded before payment is accepted.

The candies themselves are priced at such an unreasonable level, that it makes more sense to spend $10 on a bag of bit-o-honeys and smarties than it does to spend the same amount on one, bite-sized square of dubious chocolate.

With that in mind, the high cost and short supply makes these candies unobtainable for trick or treaters.

The only legitimate news story comes from an incident that took place on January 30, 2018 in Arizona. In a February 1, 2018 article by The Republic, a 12-year-old boy accidently grabbed CBD gummies from a relative's bowl instead of from a usual candy dish for the family, and brought the illicit gummies with him to school, along with regular Halloween candy. But this was well past New Year's Day and just before Valentine's Day, so this rare and random lack of parental supervision has nothing to do with Halloween at all and was merely a mistake.

Adult supervision would prevent injury and death when it comes to these spooky treats.

Adult supervision would prevent injury and death when it comes to these spooky treats.

A Real Dangerous Candy

One candy that actually does have a history of tragedy to it, is the Kinder Surprise egg, and other "toy surprise" eggs that sometimes slip through the supermarkets for Easter, Halloween and Christmas.

Not to be confused with the Kinder Joy egg, which is a chocolate egg with wafers and a tiny toy kept in a safer spot, Kinder Surprise eggs are banned in the United States, because the plastic capsules containing the toys are so embedded into the chocolate that they pose a health hazard. Sadly, some children have died worldwide since the 1970s when the eggs first became a hit.

Some of the manufacturing of the eggs has led to small parts dislodging from the toy, and in April of 2022, a Belgium recall was enacted due to salmonella poisoning.

Most "surprise" chocolates in general have been banned in the United States since 1938, since the FDA ruled that non-edible items shouldn't be in candies. Smuggling a Kinder Surprise egg instead of a Kinder Joy egg could easily land you a $2500 fine per egg.

Similar toy eggs are available in America legally, only because of separate packaging and special rims to help kids open the chocolate without swallowing the toy.

Even with that said, these candies while fun and delicious, are still a hazard. Parents need to supervise their children if they wish to purchase the eggs.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Koriander Bullard

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