Laois-Offaly Gardaí have issued a statement in relation to the increase of cannabis sweets and jellies they have recovered in drug seizures over the past 14 months.
A number of these cases are currently before the courts while there have also been incidents of children unknowingly consuming these products, thinking they were confectionery.
“The use of cannabis-infused edibles, such as jelly sweets, chocolates, cookies, and confectionery, is a relatively new trend in Ireland,” explains Sergeant Graham Kavanagh who is the Crime Prevention Officer for the Laois-Offaly-Kildare Garda division.
“Any product infused with THC is controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977/1984, and their possession is illegal.
“Cannabis-infused edibles could be confused with regular confectionery due to the similarities utilised in packaging the products.
“An Garda Síochána encourage persons who become unwell as a consequence of consuming drugs to seek medical assistance by dialling 999 or 112.
“If a juvenile has consumed these products, medical attention should be sought immediately by calling 999 or 112.”
Sergeant Kavanagh also explains that people who consume these products, not realising they contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are subject to drug testing if required by law and would test positive for consumption of a drug.
“For instance, if a Garda conducted a Mandatory Intoxication Test on the roadside, a driver who consumed these products could be found positive for driving under the influence of an intoxicant, which would be subject to criminal proceedings,” he adds.
“An Garda Síochána further advises that it is an offence to cultivate, import, export, produce, supply and possess cannabis except in accordance with a Ministerial Licence.
“Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis. Under the Misuse of Drugs legislation products containing THC are strictly controlled and possession is unlawful except under licence.”