Sheriff warns parents of commercial-looking drug-laced candy in Florida

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 12:28 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) – Florida authorities are publicly warning parents about commercial-looking candy that is laced with THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Examples include packaging of popular items, like Skittles, Nerds and Warheads, that have obscure marks that identify them as marijuana ‘edibles.’

Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith went public on the issue during a Facebook live Tuesday afternoon, where he warned parents about the discovery.

“This is very, very serious,” the sheriff said. “If one kid has it, probably other kids have it.”

Sheriff Smith said this was the first time he has discovered such candy in his county but hopes to educate parents through the public discussion.

”Now we’ve got something else we have to deal with, THC-laced candy that kids are getting,” he told WCTV’s Katie Kaplan in a one-on-one interview later in the day. ”If we have kids that are starting to use this type of stuff the next thing may be methamphetamine or opioids or something like that.”

In Charlotte County, the sheriff’s office made a similar move posting a shocking photograph on Tuesday of THC-laced candy recently found there.

Deputies in Florida are warning of drug-laced candy that looks like Skittles, Nerds or WarHeads.
Deputies in Florida are warning of drug-laced candy that looks like Skittles, Nerds or WarHeads.(WCTV)

“We can’t get out in front of it, I tell you,” said Dr. Wachell McKendrick. “So these candies have arrived on the shores- streets if you will- where our children are.”

Dr. Mckendrick is the executive director of Turn About, Inc. a local non-profit youth treatment center, and said she applauds Sheriff Smith’s efforts.

“In the substance abuse treatment world, we are still pretty scared about a lot oF these things,” said.

Adding that the concerns are real, especially when it comes to the impact drugs can have on the adolescent brain.

“Their growth, their development, is stunted. Emotionally, physically,” she said.

Dr. Mckendrick recommends parents pay attention and have an honest and open conversation with their children.

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