(CBS) Medical marijuana users may not have the option of taking a spoonful of sugar with their medicine if a new Senate bill makes it through the House.
Last Thursday, the Senate passed a bill that would double the penalties for people who sell drug-infused sweets.
The bill has garnered support from unexpected quarters. Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), says that "those who say marijuana is medicine had better be prepared to market it as such - and not as candy."
Further, says St. Pierre, those who sell pot-infused brownies, cookies and other "medical edibles," or "medibles," have reason to be worried, because, in his opinion, the bill is written broadly enough to include them.
As written, the "Saving Kids From Dangerous Drug Act," introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, would increase penalties two-fold for those who make or sell marijuana that is:
- combined with a candy product;
- marketed or packaged to appear similar to a candy product; and
- modified by flavoring or coloring the controlled substance with the intent to distribute, dispense, or sell the controlled substance to a person under 18 years of age."
Medical ediblesare a very significant part of the multi-billion dollar medical marijuana industry, says St.Pierre.
And some people cross the line, especially in advertising, he says.
Some alternative papers run ads for pot in four different ice-cream flavors. "It has a child-like appeal," he says of one such ad. "I don't think that was the notion of people who put out this ad, but that's what it looks like."