“NOOOO! Not my Skittles!” One Howard County middle school student lamented.
“I can’t believe the companies would allow this,” another replied.
“But I like Nerds…” another concerned student chimed in.
These are just a few examples of the reactions we received when Howard County students in HC DrugFree’s Life Skills Class were shown photos of candy infused with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in familiar, albeit counterfeit, brand-name wrappers.
While some of the students were quick to notice the 18+ label and the marijuana-related markings on the packaging, many did not understand what either meant. Would you? The students quickly became concerned that these major companies would produce THC products. We were quick to point out that these were FAKE candy wrappers using trusted and recognizable brand names to promote their own product.
“WHY WOULD SOMEONE DO THAT?!” the kids exclaimed.
In the discussion that followed, our instructors covered the importance of knowing where our snacks are coming from, paying attention to labels, and understanding that drug-traffickers care more about making money than our safety.
While some of the middle school students seemed to grasp the lesson, other students seemed to be completely confused that products and companies they know, trust and enjoy could be targets of individuals/businesses selling drugs. And isn’t that the point? It really is confusing even to many adults. At a quick glance, most of us would not notice the THC label. Drug-traffickers don’t care if we don’t pay attention to their labels, in fact, they may even be banking on it. And they certainly don’t care if adults or youth ingest their potentially harmful products.
Also, many Howard County middle school students said they did not know what THC was, so even reading the label may not have stopped our kids from ingesting fake products.
Never assume your children or grandchildren know what is harmful to them and keep yourself educated on the latest trends/news.
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