Advertise On Marijuana Passion

Marijuana-shaped candy alarms parents, officials

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Roddy

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Candy shaped like marijuana that's showing up on store shelves around the country won't get kids high, but aghast city leaders and anti-drug activists say the product and grocers carrying it represent a new low.

"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," said City Councilmember Darius Pridgen. "So to have a licensed store sell candy to kids that depicts an illegal substance is just ignorant and irresponsible."

The "Pothead Ring Pots," "Pothead Lollipops" and bagged candy are distributed to retail stores by the novelty supply company Kalan LP of the Philadelphia suburb of Lansdowne. It also wholesales online for $1 for a lollipop and $1.50 for a package of three rings.

Company president Andrew Kalan said the candy, on the market six to nine months and in 1,000 stores around the country, promotes the legalization of marijuana.

"It does pretty well," he said.

"This is the first complaint I've heard," Kalan said, "and people are usually not shy. I'm actually surprised this is the first."

An irate parent brought the candy to Pridgen's attention, hoping the city could apply pressure and get it out of stores.

Pridgen and Councilmember Demone Smith displayed the candy, along with fake marijuana known as "K2" that's also sold in some stores at Tuesday's Common Council meeting, where Pridgen said he'd refuse to grant licenses to stores in his district that planned to sell the merchandise and would seek to embarrass stores that carry it. The synthetic marijuana is sold as incense but is smoked.

Synthetic marijuana typically involves dried plant material sprayed with one of several chemical compounds. The products contain organic leaves coated with chemicals that provide a marijuana-like high when smoked. The Drug Enforcement Administration recently used its emergency powers to outlaw five chemicals found in synthetic marijuana.

It appeared Pridgen's message had gotten out by Thursday. A check of about a half-dozen stores in Buffalo, often in impoverished neighborhoods where real drugs are a festering problem, turned up none of the controversial candy.

The bags of "Pothead Sour Gummy Candy," and lollipops shaped like marijuana leaves appear to be a recent addition to the inventory of some corner stores. The sour apple-flavored candy contains nothing illegal, but with its marijuana leaf, the word "Legalize" and a joint-smoking, peace sign-waving user on the packaging, critics say it's not only in poor taste but an invitation to try the real thing.

"It's the whole idea that it promotes drugs and the idea that, here, you'll look cool if you use this — which is what gets these kids in trouble in the very first place," said Jodie Altman, program supervisor at Renaissance House, a treatment center for drug- and alcohol-addicted youth.

Charmaine Rosendary, 36, of Buffalo shook her head when she saw a picture of the package.

"That's not right. It's just promoting marijuana," she said while buying produce Friday at a Buffalo market. She said she wouldn't allow her five teenagers, ages 15-19, to have it.

"I would not buy it or give them money to buy it," she said. "It looks like weed."

It's not the first legal product to come under fire.

In 2008, the Hershey Co. stopped making Ice Breakers Pacs in response to criticism that the mints looked too much like illegal street drugs. Police in Philadelphia complained that the packets, nickel-sized dissolvable pouches with a powdered sweetener inside, closely resembled tiny heat-sealed bags used to sell powdered street drugs.

Candy cigarettes and fruity or energy drink-infused alcoholic beverages have been criticized for targeting young people. And in 1997, the Federal Trade Commission said the iconic Joe Camel cigarette ads and packaging violated federal law because they appealed to kids under 18. The tobacco company, R.J. Reynolds, eventually shelved the caricature.

A spokesman for the Office of National Drug Control Policy said advocates for legalization who claim marijuana is benign are not supported by science.

"Trivializing drug use is a threat to public health because it erodes perceptions of harm among young people," said Rafael Lemaitre.

Kalan said his company carries several products with the marijuana leaf and "legalize" message to accommodate growing demand in the movement to legalize marijuana.

"We don't advocate for a political position. We just look at what the marketplace wants and respond to it," the wholesaler said. "It's just candy... It's sour apple flavor, it doesn't claim to be pot in disguise or anything like that."
 
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When I was a kid, we had candy cigarettes. I don't really think it made anyone start smoking cigarettes....
 
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Roddy

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Things have changed a LOT since we were kids, THG! :) However, advertising legalization to kids....what good can this do?
 

getnasty

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"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," said City Councilmember Darius Pridgen. "So to have a licensed store sell candy to kids that depicts an illegal substance is just ignorant and irresponsible."

That's the quote I have a hard time with. I'm all for raising kids to think that it's not okay to use illegal substances. The fact of the matter is, Marijuana should not be illegal in the first place. This quote is ignorant and irresponsible.
 

getnasty

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Roddy said:
Things have changed a LOT since we were kids, THG! :) However, advertising legalization to kids....what good can this do?
Who said anything about the candy targetting kids? Adults eat candy too. In either event, it'll help raise the awareness to the cause. As the younger generations grow with the thought instilled, decades down the road we could see a turn over in federal law as these children/teens/adults gain office in our government. Perhaps that's a little too hopeful, but it would certainly help aid others in overturning government decision if the people in our government at the point in time are not anti-pot.
 
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Roddy

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Can you straight faced say this isn't marketed at least partially to kids? Are they separating it from the regular candy section, or just putting it in the same areas the kids shop?
 

Hamster Lewis

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Synthetic marijuana typically involves dried plant material sprayed with one of several chemical compounds. The products contain organic leaves coated with chemicals that provide a marijuana-like high when smoked. The Drug Enforcement Administration recently used its emergency powers to outlaw five chemicals found in synthetic marijuana.
Now this sounds so much safer then actual Cannabis......:rolleyes:

I don't think the candy's shld be peddled to young kids but they hve every right to manufacture and sell it to adults. Once again it seems like too many parents want the government to raise their kids instead of them doing it.. jmo
 

getnasty

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Most of those stores have toy aisles where most of the kids usually stay, if their parents don't force them to stay by their side, as they should. Very rarely do kids go into the bulk candy aisle. Generally when kids get candy, it's because their parents gave them permission to, and that's generally at the cannon rack by the register. In any event, just because it's located next to regular candy doesn't mean it's being advertised toward children. As I said, adults eat candy too. I, myself, eat more than I probably should of it. I work in retail currently, and regularly have more adults buying candy from my store than I do children.

I don't know, Roddy. There are just a lot of factors that are undisclosed in the article. However, the article does plainly state, "Kalan said his company carries several products with the marijuana leaf and "legalize" message to accommodate growing demand in the movement to legalize marijuana." He says absolutely nothing about kids. And yeah, I know, why would he? That's just asking for trouble. But it also happens to be the same thought that I had when reading the article.

"We don't advocate for a political position. We just look at what the marketplace wants and respond to it," the wholesaler said. "It's just candy... It's sour apple flavor, it doesn't claim to be pot in disguise or anything like that."
"It's just candy...". Again, he reiterates that it's JUST candy.

Kids aren't the only ones who eat candy. Adults are more prone to buying it, anyways. They're the ones with the money, and kids who have money typically want to get a toy; not candy. Their logic being that their parents will buy candy for them quicker than they'll go out to get them "yet another 'expensive' toy."

I guess my answer to your question is yes. I don't really feel that the manufacturer is producing the candy to target children, in full or in part. I think he's trying to spread the message his company has adopted: Legalize Marijuana. And he's doing it in an innovative way.
 

Hamster Lewis

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getnasty said:
I guess my answer to your question is yes. I don't really feel that the manufacturer is producing the candy to target children, in full or in part. I think he's trying to spread the message his company has adopted: Legalize Marijuana. And he's doing it in an innovative way.
:yeahthat:
Agreed.....parents need to step up and be parents for christs sake. I can't stand people who want the government to raise their damn children.
 

getnasty

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Zactly, Hammy! I'm so tired of it. You created em, take care of and protect them! If the pot candy is something you think you should protect them from, then do it yourself and stop harping on the government to take care of it for you. That candy being on the shelf is doing nobody any harm. Know what your kids are doing and ingesting... it's your job. Not Uncle Sam's.
 
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Roddy

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Hamster Lewis said:
:yeahthat:
Agreed.....parents need to step up and be parents for christs sake. I can't stand people who want the government to raise their damn children.
Parents don't even take their kids to the store anymore, they send them after stuff. They need to step up alright, but in many more ways than this instance. And I don't want the govt raising the kids, would be nice if people had common sense about what they market and how though...wouldn't it?
 
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Roddy

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getnasty said:
Most of those stores have toy aisles where most of the kids usually stay, if their parents don't force them to stay by their side, as they should. Very rarely do kids go into the bulk candy aisle. Generally when kids get candy, it's because their parents gave them permission to, and that's generally at the cannon rack by the register. In any event, just because it's located next to regular candy doesn't mean it's being advertised toward children. As I said, adults eat candy too. I, myself, eat more than I probably should of it. I work in retail currently, and regularly have more adults buying candy from my store than I do children.

I don't know, Roddy. There are just a lot of factors that are undisclosed in the article. However, the article does plainly state, "Kalan said his company carries several products with the marijuana leaf and "legalize" message to accommodate growing demand in the movement to legalize marijuana." He says absolutely nothing about kids. And yeah, I know, why would he? That's just asking for trouble. But it also happens to be the same thought that I had when reading the article.

"It's just candy...". Again, he reiterates that it's JUST candy.

Kids aren't the only ones who eat candy. Adults are more prone to buying it, anyways. They're the ones with the money, and kids who have money typically want to get a toy; not candy. Their logic being that their parents will buy candy for them quicker than they'll go out to get them "yet another 'expensive' toy."

I guess my answer to your question is yes. I don't really feel that the manufacturer is producing the candy to target children, in full or in part. I think he's trying to spread the message his company has adopted: Legalize Marijuana. And he's doing it in an innovative way.
Maybe you misunderstand...I don''t give a rip if the company makes this junk, I don't care if stores sell it. But use COMMON SENSE on how it's marketed, how it's displayed and who it's targets are. Stores can do this by keeping it from the candy section, unless profit is truly the only driving force.

As for who the company is targeting, that image (on the bag of candy) holding the candy doesn't look like a middle aged adult, more like a teen...just saying.
 

getnasty

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I didn't misunderstand, I was just sharing my thoughts on it. :) And trust me, I'm in agreement with you. But, follow me on this, if you will:

The manufacturer has no control over how the stuff is marketed. They can only market it to the stores that sell it. It's up the chain they sell it to how it's marketed. Whether that be in the candy aisle or somewhere else. While we're on the subject, where else would you have it though? Unless these stores are selling a lot of Legalize MJ products, that's the only sensible place to put it. Otherwise, they can have a legalize mj aisle and shelve it there.

In regard to the cartoon on the candy bag, I chalk that up only to advertising. In the advertising industry, it's a tactic used to drive sales. Youthfulness promotes sales. I also agree that it looks like a teen, but I can't judge as to whether the cartoon looks 14 or 18. I have friends with similar appearances who are in their mid 20's. Either way, I do see how it could be misconstrued.
 
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Roddy

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They don't put the High Times on the same rack as the teen mags, at the same height and in reach of children...around here at least. Nor the skin mags as I recall....
 

NorCalHal

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Haha they put all MJ related things behind the counters here in Cali, cause folks steal grow books. Bad Karma.
 
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I just can't get too upset about this--I think I get more worried about toy guns than this....
 
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Roddy

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You and I aren't the ones that'll get upset about this, those that do will only make more bad noise though.... I just hope the stores that do decide to sell this use common sense.

I hear you there, Hal.
 

getnasty

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You're right, but they're still around other magazines. People know those magazines exist, so they can ask for them by name if needed. You generally happen about products like this Pothead Candy. You don't walk uip to the counter and ask explicitly for it. Unless there is another part of the store that this can be shelved on, the only sensible place to put it (think corporate america) is with the rest of the candy.
 

pcduck

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Hamster Lewis said:
...parents need to step up and be parents for christs sake. I can't stand people who want the government to raise their damn children.
You sure got that right HL. The way our politicians have been acting, does not make for good role models or mentors
 
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