Seeing more cases of marijuana in lollypops and marshmallows, law enforcement agencies accustomed to seizures of bagged, smokable marijuana are wrestling with a surge in marijuana-infused snacks and confections transported illegally across state lines for resale, reports the New York Times. Pot edibles can be much easier to smuggle than marijuana buds: They may resemble candy or home-baked goodies, and often have no telltale smell. Few police officers are trained to think of gummy bears, mints or neon-colored drinks as potential dope. Experts worry that smuggled pot edibles will appeal to many consumers, particularly adolescents, who are ill prepared for the deceptively slow high. Novices can easily eat too much too fast, suffering anxiety attacks and symptoms resembling psychosis.
Many live in states where there has been no public education about responsible consumption of marijuana. “Citizens in nonlegalization states are far less likely to be receiving those messages, so their risks are probably greater,” said Stanford law Prof. Robert MacCoun, who wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine urging stronger regulation of pot edibles. In February, Missouri troopers confiscated 400 pounds of commercially made marijuana chocolate, including Liquid Gold bars, hidden in boxes in an Infiniti QX60. The driver was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.