April 1, 2020  Last Update: November 12, 2019, 4:01 pm

PotHeads the Latest Candy Controversy

Potheads Sour Apple flavor. Image via DrunkOctopus / Flickr

Angry parents and officials aren’t sweet on the new “Pothead” candies. The sour gummy candy won’t get you high (maybe a sugar high), but they are shaped like marijuana leaves. And the package features a peace-sign waving cartoon stoner advocating “legalization”. While the candies don’t contain anything illegal, outraged consumers argue that the message it sends to children is just as bad as the THC crystals in marijuana.

The candies are sold all around the country, but city legislators in Buffalo, New York are working to get Pothead candy off shelves. The candy is often sold in corner stores in impoverished neighborhoods where actual drugs are a major problem. City officials believe selling the candy gives children a message that it’s OK to use drugs.

We’re already dealing with a high amount of drug abuse and drug activity and trying to raise children so they don’t think using illegal substances is acceptable. So to have a licensed store sell candy to kids that depicts an illegal substance is just ignorant and irresponsible.

However, Pothead candy may not be the primary issue. It is often sold in stores that also sell K2, a synthetic marijuana labeled as incense but regularly smoked by teenagers looking to get high. Since K2 and other “legal drugs” pose health risks, banning them makes sense. But a lot of people don’t agree with banning Pothead candy. Many consumers disagree with banning the candy just because of the message it projects.

The candy is a form of free speech. Protect the creators’ right to produce and market it. If you don’t want it—then don’t buy it. If you don’t want your children to buy it then parent properly..

Andrew Kalan, president of the company that makes Pothead candies doesn’t see what all the fuss is about. Although ‘Legalize’ is displayed prominently on the packaging, he says his company doesn’t advocate for a political position. “We just look at what the marketplace wants and respond to it. It’s just candy. It’s sour apple flavor. It doesn’t claim to be pot in disguise or anything like that.”

Candy controversies have been around since the early 20th century. In the 1950’s, children walked around with candy cigarettes dangling from their mouths to be cool and mimic adults. Bubble Pipes were bubble blowers shaped like tobacco pipes. And Hippy  Sippy candy was a plastic toy syringe filled with little rainbow colored balls. In the 1980’s, effervescent Pop Rock candy showed up in little square “dime bag” sized servings.

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