Myth: Drugged Halloween Candy

Drugs and halloween candy

While this rumor has been around for some time, it is false. In fact, some police stations and news websites have even passed on this story as fact.

An article on says RUMOR: Parents should keep an eye our for drug-laced Gummi bears or ecstasy (MDMA) disguised as Halloween candy being distributed to trick-or-treaters. You then have to click on the link to see that it says Despite Facebook warnings, there’s little reason to expect drug-laced Gummi bears and Ecstasy tablets will be found in kids’ trick-or treat bags this Halloween.

There may be a valid concern due to the changes in marijuana laws with the release of marijuana edibles which do appear to look like candy. Realistically, though marijuana edibles are required to be clearly labeled as such in states where they are sold, which would make it obvious they are not normal candy. Marijuana edibles look different than candy. In states where marijuana is now legal, giving out marijuana edibles would be expensive making it very unlikely they would be passed out as free candy.

While drugged candy may be technically possible, it is highly unlikely and most of the stories about it are myths or things that happened because of the myths. In fact, a study on Halloween candy poisonings in 1989 done by Joel Best, a professor at California State University notes that of 78 cases between 1958 and 1988, all were found to be pranks pulled by other kids and not by those who doled out the candy. In fact, the article points out that police have never documented a case of people randomly distributing poisoned goodies.

An easy rule of thumb, if you are still concerned, is to throw away any candy you get that is already opened or candy that is not from a store. This is also a good idea just because of hygiene. If you are still concerned about your child’s Halloween candy may have been tampered with, many hospitals and airports will do free x-ray scans of Halloween candy to detect glass, pins or needles.



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.