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October 26, 2017

New Jersey health department: Watch out for marijuana Halloween candy

The New Jersey Department of Health wants parents to be on high alert this Halloween to avoid letting their kids wind up with marijuana edibles, which have been on the rise throughout the state, officials said.

"There is a significant presence of marijuana candy and edible forms in New Jersey and nearby states," a public awareness document released by the health department says. "The presence of these edible marijuana forms poses a great risk to users, especially to children, who may accidentally receive marijuana candy during Halloween."

Edible marijuana, often sold in the form of gummies, brownies and lollipops, contains the drug's active ingredient THC and remains illegal in New Jersey. Even in Colorado, where edibles are legal, the state recently banned marijuana gummies shaped like animals, people or fruit.

Health officials said parents should check their children's candy for unusual homemade packaging, warning that the candy itself is often indistinguishable from other sweets like gummy bears. Edibles can also have an odor similar to marijuana.

In the event a child or an unwitting adult ingests an edible, symptoms may take longer to kick in than smokeable forms of the drug. Physical effects could include dizziness, nausea, shallow breathing, red eyes, increased appetite, paranoia and forgetfulness.

If you believe you or your child has received marijuana candy, officials urge you to immediately contact your local police department.