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Fright Night Fear-Mongering: New Jersey Officials Warn Trick-or-Treaters to Watch Out for Weed Candy

After years of the same absurd claims, U.S. police departments are still using the prospect of tainted Halloween treats to drum up anti-cannabis sentiment.

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It was only a matter of time. Like every year since Colorado first legalized cannabis, law enforcement officers are using anticipation for All Hallow’s Eve to scare people about weed.

According to Fox's Philadelphia affiliate, police officials in Gloucester County, New Jersey are warning parents to watch out for THC-infused gummy edibles mixed in with their children’s fun-sized Snickers and Twizzlers.

Of course, history has told us that no one is actually going to waste their expensive edibles to sneakily assault strange children, and Gloucester County cops presented their warning with no evidence or examples, instead using classic reefer madness tactics to try and scare parents away from the most sacred of childhood holidays.

"Parents need to be aware and check for unusual candy packaging. If they suspect their child has received marijuana candy they should immediately contact their local police department," Jim Jefferson, Liaison to the Gloucester County Addictions Task Force, told Fox 29.

And if we lived in a simpler time, that warning might have been effective; with parents needlessly throwing away their pint-sized Iron Man’s well-earned bounty for fear he’ll end up permanently addicted to the wacky tobaccy.

Thankfully, we live in the age of social media, where good-natured Twitter users immediately pounced on the outlandish warning, mercilessly roasting the Garden State officials for their obvious ignorance.

It may seem like a simple precaution for parents getting ready to feed their kids gobs of candy from strangers, but by baselessly bringing marijuana into the equation, Gloucester County officials are continuing in a long tradition of revisionist history, even in a time when New Jersey is possibly only months away from a move to fully legalize and regulate the controversial plant.

So if you’re taking your youngins out to trick or treat next week, please don’t fall victim to the media’s marijuana fear-mongering. Let your kids be kids. Let them ring doorbells ‘til they drop and eat half their haul before sunrise. And if you do see an unwrapped gummy with a homemade label in your child’s pumpkin bucket, eat it yourself - if the "experts" are miraculously right, you could score a free buzz.

Follow Zach Harris on Twitter