Hello Gumball Fans!
The subject of today's post is Smiley Face Gumballs, those lovable, adorable little globes of fun and enjoyment. Unfortunately, it appears that this symbol of childhood and all that is good has been corrupted. Alas I say with a great deal of dysphoria and tristesse in my heart - these gumballs are being used to get high.
Here's the story from the Washington Post:
Four people in the Washington area have been charged in recent months with selling marijuana-laced gumballs, including an Arlington man who was arrested last month after police said they found more than two dozen of the altered candies at his apartment.
To the unsuspecting eye, the individually packaged gumballs look like regular bubble gum. They are yellow with a black smiley face stamp. But upon closer inspection, a small, crudely drilled hole in the gumballs marks where they have been altered.
Arlington police said the gumballs discovered July 22 at Paul C. Cofer Jr.'s Crystal City apartment contained THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana. THC, which is extracted from marijuana leaves, is more potent on its own, police said.
Cofer, 20, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Police said he was released on bond.
"This is the first that we've seen of this, and so we really want to get the word out to parents that these things are out there and they need to be aware if they see their child with one," said John Lisle, an Arlington County Police Department spokesman.
"It looks like he was breaking them open or drilling into them and putting the drugs inside," Lisle said. "But he wasn't just putting marijuana inside. He extracted the THC, and so they were more potent and highly concentrated."
Lisle said the gumballs were packaged in green wrappers with smiley faces and were being sold for $10 apiece.
Cofer is not the first person in the region alleged to be caught with marijuana-laced gumballs recently. In what authorities said could become a disturbing trend that could put illegal drugs into the hands of unsuspecting children, three 17-year-old Maryland students were arrested earlier this year on drug charges after a teacher allegedly saw two of them selling packaged gumballs to the third.
In that case, Howard County police charged the teenagers after the teacher told a school resource officer that she saw a student give a plastic bag containing what she thought was drugs to another student.
The officer seized the bag, which contained two gumballs wrapped in foil, police said. Instructions on the package, labeled "Greenades," told users to chew the candy 30 minutes to an hour "before you would like to receive your high" and to "chew for as long as possible, then swallow."
The gumballs were confiscated in January at Howard High School, police said, but federal drug tests didn't confirm the presence of marijuana until May. That month, the Drug Enforcement Administration released a bulletin about the candies and said each gumball contained one gram of marijuana.
Calls to a DEA spokesman were not returned.
In news reports, DEA and drug education officials said the gumballs found in Maryland and Virginia appear to be the first of their kind in the region. Concern over drug use is growing as dealers develop increasingly sophisticated methods of marketing and packaging illegal substances.
In the Arlington County case, Lisle said, police were called to Cofer's apartment building in the 1600 block of South Eads Street after residents reported seeing a man armed with a gun trying to break into an apartment. Police said they followed the man, later identified as Cofer, to his residence in the same building. He told detectives that his ex-girlfriend lived in the other apartment and that he was trying to get money that was owed him, police said.
While police where inside Cofer's apartment making a report about the gun, which was a BB gun, one officer noticed an odd-looking case in Cofer's bedroom. The officer asked Cofer's permission to look inside the case, where he found a bag of gumballs with a strong odor of marijuana, Lisle said. There also was a large bag of unaltered gumballs in the case, police said. [Washington Post]
It is a sad day indeed.