In Defense of Medicated Gummy Bears, People, and Fruits

A Colorado bill bans sale and production of THC-infused, edible creatures.

A bill signed into law Friday by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper bans the production and sale of THC-infused edibles that “resemble the form of animals, people, and fruit” in the otherwise weed-legal state.

Hickenlooper’s freshly inked Hancock means that “medicated gummy bears” will become a thing of the past in the Mile High State. The law, pitched as a means to protect children from weed candy, takes effect on July 1. 

The impending deadline leaves little more than two weeks for Colorado’s edible-consuming populace to stock up, or otherwise gorge upon the currently available supply of high-inducing bears, sharks, and apparently people? 

The law is a major win for alarmists and irresponsible parents everywhere. If your curious toddler, or house pet, ends up stoned as hell, because your idiot husband left a chocolate bar loaded with 175 mg THC within reach of the tot/Toto, is it then the fault of the candy? No, I think not. Blame the parents; blame yourselves. Divorce your husband; men are dogs anyway. But don't blame the gummy bears.

"There is an actual website that sells chocolate and soap shaped like weapons. Why is nobody rushing to ban the production and sale of edible automatic assault rifles?"

If Anheuser-Busch can wrap a beer can in an American flag and call it responsible marketing, or if lemonade can be "hard," what is so dangerous about a gummy bear with a little bit of weed in it? No sales campaign is foisting edibles on children with anywhere near Budweiser levels of viral aggression. The edibles scare stories only come from inexperienced people who improperly dosed them. There is an actual website that sells chocolate and soap shaped like weapons. Why is nobody rushing to ban the production and sale of edible automatic assault rifles? Or, if THC-infused candy were to be shaped like a pipe bomb––technically not a fruit, animal, or person––would it then be good-to-go on Colorado retail shelves? 

Online, most weed brands can’t even truly take advantage of social media marketing, or promote posts on Facebook (not that there’s many teens left on FB anymore, anyway). According to federal government data, amid the modern legalization movement, “youth marijuana use remained unchanged in 48 states and declined in 3 states between 2012–2013 and 2013–2014.” 

Image via SAMHSA

Perhaps the move in Colorado is more about solidifying safe access to cannabis products for adults, and limiting the access for kids. Why not just draft stricter packaging policies? Or limit where and when cannabis companies can advertise their edible products? Or make parents pass a competency test before they’re allowed to buy them?

When legalizing any sometimes-psychoactive substance, regulation is what brings the market from black to gray-ish, to mainstream. Which is fine. Nate Dogg and Warren G-the-shit-out-of-weed, but don’t throw people in prison for possessing the herb; and don’t ban the production and sale of a product on which fledgling businesses have been founded, simply because the “modern cannabis consumer” can’t be bothered to have a separate jar for the cookies and candies that get them high, and one for the rest of the family.