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Halloween Pot-Candy Scare Baseless So Far

DENVER (AP) - Police in Colorado have warned parents to look out for pot-laced Halloween candy. But parents don't seem too worried.

A Denver-based testing company offered 1,000 free kits to parents wanting to screen their trick-or-treaters' haul for marijuana's psychoactive chemical. However, only 45 parents took CB Scientific up on the offer as of Friday.

There have been no reported cases of people slipping marijuana to unsuspecting trick-or-treaters, in Colorado or in any state. But the popularity of pot candies in the new retail market in Colorado prompted warnings this fall from police in Denver, Fort Collins and Pueblo.

As of Halloween morning, Denver Police and the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center reported no calls about marijuana in Halloween candy.

"My honest opinion is that's an overblown fear that was created by the police," said CB Scientific CEO Bill Short.

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The company's $15 kits are usually used by medical marijuana patients to test the potency of their weed. The kits include small beakers and a liquid that turns reddish in the presence of THC, marijuana's active ingredient.

Short said the free kits were available to parents anywhere, but that nearly all the requests came from Colorado.

"We stepped in to tell parents, don't be spooked. We were not trying to jump on some fear-mongering bandwagon," Short said.

Since January, Children's Hospital Colorado has reported nine admissions for children accidentally consuming edible marijuana. It's unclear whether those cases were from homemade treats or edible marijuana products sold at dispensaries.

Colorado police have said they are just trying to boost awareness because of wider availability of pot candies.

The Larimer County Sheriff's Department, for example, said in its warning that vigilance is necessary because marijuana candies don't necessarily appear unusual.

"THC-infused edibles are often designed to look very similar to popular name-brand treats," the office warned.

In Washington state, the only other state with legal recreational pot sales, authorities have been more circumspect. A sheriff's detective in Pierce County, Washington, wrote a newspaper column saying pot showing up in trick-or-treat bags is an urban myth.

"It's too expensive, hard to get and users of these products are pretty laid back and not generally terrifying in nature," Detective Ed Troyer wrote Monday in the Tacoma Weekly.

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By KRISTEN WYATT, Associated Press

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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