An innocuous looking candy is a new form of drug that has popped up recently in the community, according to police.
The problem with the drug, known as marijuana candy, is that it can be found in a number of hard candy forms, such as lollipops and suckers, said county Sheriff Mark Helms.
The drug has become a growing issue in the county, one the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office is becoming more aware of, said Lt. Todd Caufield.
Caufield said there is no specific age that is more likely to use the candy.
The drug has been seen coming in from outside the community as well as being made here, Caufield said.
The patrol division and investigators with the Sheriff’s Office have come across this form of the drug over the past several weeks, Caufield said.
“We (the Sheriff’s Office) came across the drug through awareness of the drug, networking with other agencies and training,” Caufield said.He could not give specifics on a certain case where the drug was found, due to the fact the cases are pending.
The drug is made from normal marijuana or hash that is ground up and put into a rock candy form similar to a hard candy, Caufield said.
“The reason is primarily to conceal the drug,” he said.
People who have or want the drug are using the candy to fly under police radar, Caufield said.
There are different ways to identify the candy if a person has the training, Caufield said.
The candy can come in several different forms depending on the mold used.
However, the green or dark green marijuana or the brown or dark brown hashish can still be seen in clear or light colored forms of the candy, Caufield said.
Caufield wouldn’t go into detail about the specifics of tests used to identify the drug.
An internet search of “marijuana candy” brings up many hits for commercial manufacturers. Caufield said he doesn’t have information about shipping regulations from companies that sell the candy.
“The ultimate bottom line is, it is illegal to possess in New York,” he said.
If people don’t know the source of a candy they are about to consume or the candy or packaging doesn’t look common, then they should avoid it, Caufield said.
Caufield likened it to going to a party and being offered an unknown drink, saying people should be hesitant to accept such things.
Cortland City School District Resource Officer Rob Reyngoudt said he hasn’t come across the drug in school yet. However, Reyngoudt is always on the lookout for new drugs in the school, he said.
If the drug does show up, Reyngoudt said it could affect any age group.
“It’ll hit the elementary on up because the younger kids will have access to it from older siblings or even parents.”