Drug abuse prevention advocates are calling on Washington state officials to tighten regulations to make marijuana-laced treats less attractive to children, according to Reuters. Cookies, candy and beverages containing the drug will be sold in the state starting next year.
“The rules for labeling should be broadened to prohibit images and messages that are designed to attract young people,” said retired University of Washington social work professor Roger Roffman. He and other advocates wrote a letter to state marijuana regulators, asking them to add rules banning wrappers of recreational marijuana products from bearing “a reasonable resemblance to packaging of any commercially branded candy that is not a marijuana-infused product.”
Washington and Colorado, where recreational marijuana for adults is now legal, have planned restrictions on marijuana advertising. In Washington, marijuana ads cannot appear within 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds and other places where children gather. Ads cannot depict toys, cartoon characters or anything especially appealing to children. Marijuana products must carry health warnings and come in child-resistant packaging.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board last week issued draft rules that would not place similar restrictions on marijuana packaging or labeling. Mikhail Carpenter, spokesman for the board, told Reuters it is considering whether to tighten the packaging rules. “Obviously, we don’t want cartoon characters on labels,” he said.