COMMENTARY | One of the more interesting consequences of legal pot in Colorado is a kind of wild west, unregulated market for cannabis laden confections, what used to be called “magic brownies,” available for residents a high seeking tourists alike.
Maureen Dowd, the New York Times columnist, went to Denver, consumed a pot laden candy bar, and then spent the next several hours in the fetal position wondering if she was going to die. It seems that it did not say on the label that the confection should be eaten on moderation by novice pot heads. This has gotten Colorado state officials scrambling to come up with labeling and other regulations. This in turn has the cannabis industry, used to operating without regard to government rules, more than a little bit irate.
The Hershey Company is also not amused. It has filed suit against TinctureBelle LLC and TinctureBelle Marijuanka LLC, both of Colorado, for trademark infringement. It alleges that several cannabis laden confections offered by the Colorado company too strongly resembles more famous and non pot laced products that Hersey offers. Hershey wants TinctureBelle to stop selling its magic candy and to pay a sum of money in damages.
The arrival of legal marijuana to Colorado has caused a number of poisoning incidents, including that of young children who have eaten pot laden candies by mistake, causing visits to the emergency room. At least one death has been attributed to a pot overdose.
Is this an argument for recriminalizing marijuana? Pot advocates point out that alcohol causes far more problems and that no one is seriously suggesting a return to Prohibition. That means government regulation is unavoidable. Despite libertarian arguments to the contrary, a certain degree of regulation is desirable. No one who wants to stay in business wants to sell a product that hurts people. That way leads to endless trouble and lots of money for personal injury lawyers, not to be desired.