For Immediate Release:
October 18, 2011

Media Contact:
Olga Vega

Miami-Dade Commission approves legislation asking retailers to pull "pothead candy" off store shelves

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 
During the Tuesday, October 18, 2011 Miami-Dade Commission meeting, commissioners unanimously approved a resolution condemning the sale of “pothead candy” at local stores. The item, sponsored by Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, urges retailers, with the exception of adult novelty stores, to remove these controversial candies popular among youths.

“Pothead candy” are sour apple-flavored lollipops or ring pops that are shaped like marijuana leaves. The packaging for the candy depicts a smiling cartoon figure holding up a peace sign with a marijuana cigarette in its mouth. Marijuana leaves are also all over the bag with the word “legalize” emblazoned in large lettering across the package. The product itself contains no illegal substances.

“There’s a difference between selling a candy like this at an adult novelty store, which sells to people over the age of 18, and a retail store that can sell ‘pothead candy’ to minors,” said Commissioner Diaz. “Kids are already bombarded by the pressures of a pervading drug culture, and this candy, with its cartoon depictions, is obviously targeted at them. Local retailers selling this product so it’s accessible to minors really need to think about the message they’re sending to kids. It’s just irresponsible, plain and simple.”

A copy of the resolution will be sent to the Florida Congressional Delegation, Miami-Dade County State Legislation Delegation, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Florida Retail Federation, and the manufacturer of pothead candy, Kalan LP, in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania.

According to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, use of illicit drugs by youths 12 to 17 years of age increased in 2009 for this first time following a number of years of declines since 2002, with 10 percent of such youths reporting to have used illicit drugs in 2009. The level of youth perceiving great risk of harm associated with smoking marijuana once or twice a week dropped from 54.7 percent in 2007 to 49.3 percent in 2009, marking the first time since 2002 that less than half of young people perceived great harm in frequent marijuana use. The national Partnership at states that marijuana side effects include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception, trouble with thinking and problem solving, loss of motor coordination, increased heart rate, and anxiety. Over the long-term, marijuana smoke contains some of the same cancer-causing compounds as tobacco, sometimes in higher concentrations. 

For more information, please contact Commissioner Diaz’s office at 305-599-1200.


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