One of the more unsettling aspects of watching the legal recreational marijuana industry evolve is the packaging.
Way back in the day— when homegrown weed was primarily consumed rolled up in paper or a bong— you knew what you were getting.
A friend would drop by with a plastic sandwich bag and lining the bottom was something that looked like dried oregano. It didn’t smell like oregano. In fact, sometimes it smelled a little funky. A little skunky, if you will.
There wasn’t any mistaking it for your garden variety herb, even as an adolescent, so there was hardly any danger of accidentally consuming it unless as a kid you were a spaghetti and meatballs connoisseur who insisted on sprinkling just the right amount of oregano on top of the sauce.
Now that marijuana is legal and consumers can buy and possess the drug without fear of the law running them to jail, marijuana isn’t so simple anymore.
Today cannabis and its mood altering properties comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes and forms.
You can buy it as a bud, as a pre roll (a joint like the old days), a salve, a tincture, a cookie, a brownie or a candy.
The innovative ways in which medicinal and recreational cannabis are being created and marketed are, literally, mind boggling.
Back in that old time that I was referring to one of the only ways to get pot to be part of a candy or a sweet cake was to sprinkle the stuff that looked like oregano into brownie mix and then bake it.
But now pot cookies are as common as pot brownies. Pot chewables are made to look like the fruity tasting vitamins that years ago were marketed to children in the shape of The Flintstones.
The chewy movie time sugary snack Gummi Bears now have their adult equivalent in edible gummies that look and taste like candy but give you a stronger buzz than one pound of sugar, in even half the dosage.
Shuffling to the freezer one night for a midnight snack of warm milk and Girl Scout cookies could become an otherworldly experience if one mistakenly grabs your roommate’s THC infused edible think mints.
And so if adults, sleepy, frazzled, absent-minded, distracted or rushed as they may be, might on occasion mistakenly reach for a cannabis candy instead of the one brimming with good old fashioned sugar, I wonder how easy it will be for a kid who doesn’t know any better to make the same mistake.
I’m happy that adults can make adult decisions and choose for themselves what they can consume. But it slightly worries me that today’s brightly colored THC edible cereal, for example, could accidentally be consumed instead of an innocuous bowl of candy colored rice puffs saturated in sugar. That’s not the sort of breakfast of champions young minds need to start their day.