Law enforcement across the country have taken to social media and to local news outlets to once again to "warn parents of the dangers of drug-laced Halloween candy."
For decades, every year at this time, police and their irresponsible echo chambers in the media set out to sound the alarm that evil people will attempt to drug your kids. Over the past several years, as marijuana has become more legal throughout the country, these warnings have intensified.
The sheer lack of critical thought in blindly accepting the wholeheartedly asinine idea of people giving away expensive drugs to somehow taint the innocence of children is shocking.
Marijuana-infused candy is not cheap. The idea that a pot user would want to spend their hard earned money on the small chance that their suspiciously wrapped candy may be eaten by a child is laughable. However, the urban myth—in spite of the fact that there has never been a documented case of a child receiving tainted candy from a stranger on Halloween—continues to be rammed down society's throat year after year.
This is no accident either.
Moral panic of this kind bubbles up every year in mid-October, and the legalization of marijuana across the country – which can take the form of edibles that resemble brownies, cookies, or candy – has added a new flavor to that familiar witches’ brew. However, as MTV News reported, “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.”
Despite this annual outbreak of alarm, “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.”
“I have always been skeptical of claims that maniacs try to poison kids’ treats,” observes Joel Best, a professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Delaware. “Why would they do that?”
The implicit answer, as TFTP's William Grigg writes, from the perspective of those promoting the panic, is that drug fiends are motivated by a sadistic desire to defile childhood innocence. Just as “war on terror” propaganda cultivates a directionless fear of swarthy, savagely bearded foreigners who “hate us for our freedom,” agitprop conducted in the “war on drugs” endlessly recapitulates similar themes put into circulation decades ago by the arch-prohibitionist Harry Anslinger.
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In testimony under oath before Congress in 1937, Anslinger insisted: "Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.” As head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, Anslinger maintained a “gore file” replete with lurid stories — many of them entirely fictitious — of marijuana-crazed people committing hideous crimes, including rape, murder, and “miscegenation.” Anslinger was endlessly preoccupied with the idea that black people are particularly susceptible to marijuana, and that one particularly acute danger posed by the demon weed was its role in breaking down the barriers against “race-mixing.”
The most important reason to outlaw marijuana, Anslinger insisted, “is its effect on the degenerate races.” Marijuana was nothing less than the drug used to seal the bloody covenants sworn by members of the ancient Order of Assassins, Ansligner tremulously informed a credulous public, and even today it plays a central role in the never-ending plot by dark and devious men who seek to steal the innocence of "Our Children."
“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers,” Anslinger reportedly said on one occasion. “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.”
Following World War II, after it was documented that marijuana did not promote outbursts of violent, aggressive behavior, Anslinger reversed field entirely. By 1948, he insisted that the same drug that turned men into paranoid, predatory criminals and white women into aggressive sluts would somehow turn young people into weak-willed pacifists unwilling and unable to obey the muster call to take up arms against the Communist Menace. Sadly, the public followed in lockstep.
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.
Parents whose children participate in trick-or-treating should exercise discretion and supervise them carefully, but they shouldn’t fall prey to officially-promoted urban myths. Practicing adults should know better than to be spooked by the ghost of Harry Anslinger.