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Cannabis-Shaped Candy Leaves Sour Taste in Buffalo

Candy that looks like marijuana—but contains nothing illegal—is being banished from stores by Buffalo's leaders.

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A city official brandishes the offending candy. Photo via

By Ariel Nagi

10/11/11

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A tasty new way to promote the legalization of marijuana has provoked leaders, parents and activists in Buffalo, NY: cannabis-shaped candy. Treats like "Pothead Ring Pots" and "Pothead Lollipops"—shaped like marijuana leaves—won't actually get you high, but city leaders aim to ban the products anyway, for promoting the drug. "We're already dealing with a high amount of drug abuse and drug activity and trying to raise children so they don't think using illegal substances is acceptable," City Council member Darius Pridgen told the Associated Press. "So to have a licensed store sell candy to kids that depicts an illegal substance is just ignorant and irresponsible." The candies are distributed by the novelty supply company Kalan LP, which also sells many other pro-legalization products. Online retail values are $1 for a lollipop and $1.50 for a package of three rings. Company president Andrew Kalan said he's surprised that the Buffalo complaints are the first he's heard so far. After being contacted by a parent, Pridgen told a council meeting that he wouldn't grant local stores licenses to sell the candies—a move that recalls Hershey's 2008 decision to shelve a line of mints that too-closely resembled street cocaine. Kalan's sour, apple-flavored candy doesn't contain anything illegal, or anything to get anyone high—with the possible exception of sugar. But with its marijuana-leaf shape—and the word "Legalize" and a joint-smoking, peace sign-waving user on the packaging—critics worry that it may act as a "gateway."

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