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Illinois Sheriff Passes Off Japanese Candy As Marijuana-Infused Halloween Treat

(Reason) On Monday the Bureau County, Illinois, sheriff's office issued a press release describing "an incident following Trick or Treat" in which "parents came forward with suspicious looking candy marked as Crunch Choco Bar," the wrapper of which "has small pictures of cannabis leaves on it." According to Bureau County Sheriff James Reed, "the substance was field tested and was positive for containing cannabis." The press release closed by urging parents (as always!) to be vigilant against tainted or sabotaged Halloween treats and asking for information about "which residence provided this candy," which supposedly was handed out in Manlius, a tiny town northwest of Princeton, the Bureau County seat. Is this the long-awaited evidence that malevolent strangers really are trying to get your kids high by slipping marijuana edibles into their trick-or-treat bags? Nope. As an eagle-eyed blogger pointed out at, the picture accompanying Reed's press release shows Japanese candy bars sold under the brand name Iroha Kaede, which is a kind of maple tree. That's right: Those "small pictures of cannabis leaves" are actually small pictures of maple leaves. If the candy bar really did come up "positive for containing cannabis" in a field test, that just shows how unreliable such tests are. Iroha KaedeAlthough a Google search for "Crunch Choco Bar" would have quickly revealed this story as unfounded, several local news outlets, including WQAD (an ABC affiliate), the Dispatch-Argus, and the Bureau County Republican, credulously passed it along. In addition to the fact that Sheriff Reed's photo of cannabis candy does not actually show cannabis candy, several things should have given reporters pause.

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