With the approach of Halloween, The Pennsylvania State Police, Troop H- Criminal Investigation Section is reminding families and schools of the increased presence of candy/products which are infused with marijuana or psilocybin. These products are often found in packaging which mimics packaging of legal, and well-known, candy/products. All the attached photographs are of narcotics related seizures within Troop H which contain TCH (tetrahydrocannabinol – the main psychoactive substance found in cannabis) or psilocybin (i.e., “magic mushrooms”). Marijuana and psilocybin edibles are food and drink products made with marijuana leaves, cannabis extracts, and psilocybin mushrooms that may be especially appealing to a younger audience due to bright and colorful packaging often mirroring name-brand candy or snack foods and beverages. Juveniles may mistake them for candy or mistakenly believe consuming the drugs in this manner is “safer” than smoking; however, edibles often take longer to digest, which extends the period of time before the “high” is felt and may lead to an increase in consumption beyond the recommended dosage. This may lead to potentially dangerous outcomes such as intoxication and overdose for adolescents and users who may be unaware of the potency and delayed effects of marijuana and psilocybin edibles. Children or teenagers can overdose after consuming these products while in school or finding them in homes where adults have purchased the items legally. Two recent examples (one local) of such overdoses are contained in the below hyperlinks:
- 3-year-old overdoses after eating chocolate bar containing magic mushrooms, man charged | WHP (local21news.com)
- Six children hospitalized in Florida after eating cannabis gummies at after-school program | Fox News
Marijuana edibles are legal in Pennsylvania by prescription only, whereas psilocybin mushrooms, which contain a psychedelic compound, are illegal in Pennsylvania.
While the Pennsylvania State Police is not alleging or indicating that these products may be intentionally given to children or teenagers with the intent to cause them harm, PSP is also reminding parents, guardians, and teachers of the importance of thoroughly checking the contents contained in products consumed by children. Candy and snack items should be inspected to ensure labels to do not contain or reference marijuana or psilocybin ingredients. Such terms could include THC, medicated, pictures of marijuana leaves, and pictures of mushrooms. Additionally, legally purchased marijuana products, including edibles, should be secured and inaccessible to children.
Anyone who may unknowingly ingest such substances should immediately contact 911 for medical assistance. Marijuana intoxication symptoms in youth range from loss of coordination and mild drowsiness to being unable to wake up or having trouble breathing. Marijuana overdose symptoms include extreme anxiety, panic attacks, psychotic reactions, impaired judgement, fast heart rate, chest pain, heart attack, seizures, high blood pressure, and unresponsiveness. Psilocybin mushroom intoxication symptoms in youth include tremors, loss of appetite, dry mouth, sleep disturbances, nausea, blurred vision, dilated pupils, and loss of coordination.
Troop H includes the Harrisburg, Carlisle, Chambersburg, Lykens, Newport and Gettysburg stations.