Parents, tell your kids to just say "no" to… lollipops? Candy shaped like marijuana being sold at different stores across the U.S. has anti-drug advocates speaking out against the message it is sending to kids and teens.
"Pothead Ring Pots," "Pothead Lollipops" and other bagged candy are being distributed by Kalan LP, a novelty supply company, according to the Associated Press. The Candy costs $1 per lollipop, and $1.50 for a package of three. The AP reported that company President Andrew Kalan said the candy is promoting the legalization of marijuana.
Dr. Paul Hokemeyer of Caron Treatment Centers in Caron, Pa., said the candy is completely inappropriate.
"I think they should be banned, the message that they are telling kids is that it's ok to smoke marijuana is dangerous for kids and teens," Hokemeyer said. "The teenage brain is a developing brain, and (smoking marijuana) is impacting how it develops. It's particularly dangerous because of the social, cultural peer group message that it's ok to smoke, because it's not."
Kalan's pothead candy shows a cartoon smoking a joint on the packaging, holding up a peace sign. Kids at this age are very easily impacted, he said, and may be tempted to engage in smoking marijuana, if they aren't already.
"I think it’s a trend," Hokemeyer said. "Anything that hits the internet has a profound impact with our kids. Parents need to be particularly aware of who (kids) are friends with online. They can go online and read about all this stuff."
Hokemeyer said he is hopeful that the product's dangerous message will be received by lawmakers, and the candy will be banned. The DEA recently outlawed five chemicals found in synthetic marijuana, or "K2." K2 is made with dried plant material that is sprayed with a chemical compound that provides a high similar to that of marijuana when smoked.