Ever since I was a kid, I remember hearing horror stories in the weeks leading up to Halloween—but not about demons and goblins and ghouls, these were stories about the dangers of trick-or-treating.
“Be careful with the candy your children get on Halloween night,” warned the local news reports, “strangers may be poisoning their treats with drugs!”
I, of course, could care less about such concerns, eager to venture from door-to-door in search of the sweetest goodies and scarf them the same night.
But for parents, I remember their fear was palpable, and just like so much of what authority figures tell us, I, nor anyone else, seemed to ever question what they said.
PLEASE check your children’s candy VERY CAREFULLY this Halloween. I found an M4A3E8 Sherman tank in this box of Pocky. pic.twitter.com/bCUJD1G3y1
— ???? Maul Dean ⚰️ (@paullicino) October 30, 2017
Today, though, it’s quite clear that decades of fear-mongering were entirely baseless—“there has never been a documented case of a child receiving tainted candy from a stranger on Halloween,” reports The Free Thought Project.
The hysteria has only gotten ramped up in recent years with the gradual legalization of marijuana across multiple states, a fear that begs the question: what stoner in his or her right mind would waste perfectly good pot on poisoning kids?
— NJ Attorney General (@NewJerseyAG) October 24, 2017
Well, one of the rationales behind the fear campaigns is that these predators seek to spoil the innocence of youth.
But as reported by MTV News:
“We’ve been to this dance before.
“The myth of poisoned or drugged Halloween candy has been going around at this time of year since at least the ‘60s.
“Before marijuana candies, Americans have been scared of everything from heroin to metal shards in their kids’ sugary loot.
“…there’s never been a proven case of some random madman intentionally poisoning random trick-or-treaters. In fact, children are more likely to be poisoned by a family member than a stranger around Halloween.”
Parents:This year please be bit more cautious inspecting Halloween unwrapped/unmarked candy for THC infused products pic.twitter.com/BB0vSflCs0
— Chief Carmichael (@WalpoleChief) October 27, 2017
Indeed, you can trace anti-marijuana fear-mongering back to decades ago with the fervent work of Harry Anslinger, the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
Back in 1937 while testifying under oath, Harry declared, “Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”
The tyrant’s mad ramblings also referenced race, saying that blacks were more inclined to violence upon smoking the herb and that society-wide tolerance of the drug would encourage “race-mixing.”
“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers,” he reportedly said, “Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”
Still, after World War II when scientific consensus proved his fears inaccurate, Harry reversed his stance and claimed pot would make people lazy and unwilling to face the Communist Menace.
As The Free Thought Project puts it:
“It is important to note that while there has never been a single case of a random child being poisoned by a stranger’s Halloween candy, the ones pushing this ridiculous myth have killed thousands—including innocent children.
“Police in America kill over 1,000 people a year, many of them are unarmed and innocent. But we are supposed to fear candy.”
It always helps to put things into perspective.