Rostrum’s Law Review | ISSN: 2321-3787



Contamination of children’s edibles, particularly candies/chocolates poses a serious threat to children’s health and well-being in recent times. These candies, referred to as “Candy Drugs, disguised as harmless treats, contain illicit drugs and psychotropic substances, putting children at risk of addiction and other health hazards. Drug dealers target vulnerable children near schools, luring them with enticing flavours like chocolates, fruits and peanut butter. Continued consumption of these candies can lead to addiction and may require intervention from drug rehabilitation facilities. The situation is alarming as it poses danger for the school going children who are the prime targets of the drug dealers and unscrupulous traders who wish to make easy and fast profits by selling such candies in school areas. The paper strives to analyse the scenario of drug-laced candies in the nation and its impact upon children. The author underscores the urgent need for parents, guardians and law enforcement authorities in India to take preventive measures against this alarming trend, which exploits children for profit.  

Key-words: Food Adulteration, Children, Candy Drugs, Narcotics, Prevention.

  1. Introduction

One of the major challenges facing humanity and sustainability in the present era is the threat of contamination of food items. Particularly alarming is the lacing of chocolates and confectionaries consumed by children with illicit drugs and psychotropic substances, as evidenced by the case of drug-laced candies, often referred to as “Candy Drugs” which takes on a monstrous dimension. As children are always vulnerable to food adulterants, drug-laced candies pose serious health alarms for children. It has increasingly become a menace which is adopted by unscrupulous traders and drug dealers all over the world to exploit susceptible consumers, especially children, with a view to make quick and easy money. There are evidences of candy drugs being sold to children in the name of sweets, chocolates or candies near schools. Drug dealers targeting children have developed a variety of new flavours over the time which includes chocolate, hazelnut cocoa, peanut butter, etc. Such flavours attract children and they are lured into asking for more. As the pleasure fades quick enough, children often end up having insatiable want for such candies. With continued consumption, this could lead to addiction, and the child may need to enter a drug rehab facility.

Science has shown that those who start using drugs at a very tender age are more probable to become lifelong addicts. One needs to do everything possible to keep drugs out of the hands of children. Unfortunately, many drug dealers change the flavour and packaging of their drugs in order to appeal to children, who are unaware of the dangers of these drugs. Cynical criminals take advantage of general drug trends to market dangerous illicit drugs to children in particular. It could be marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, or some other substance.[1] Drug dealers find various means to gain illicit profits, even at the cost of harming our children’s health. Distributing tablets containing narcotic substances under the guise of medicines for improving skin tone and beauty is a modern tactic used to ensnare students. According to Excise Officials, teenagers and college students are the prime targets of drug peddlers offering these light drugs, exploiting their desire to enhance their appearance by addressing concerns such as skin tone and acne. However, the delay in reporting narcotics-related cases obstructs investigations. Sometimes, school authorities hesitate to report promptly due to concerns about damaging their reputation. Many school authorities and parent-teacher associations prefer to handle such matters internally, making it difficult to uncover the network behind these criminal activities.[2] Hence, the law must keep up with them by reinforcing strategies and tactics to tackle the situation.

On the other hand, a significant number of children who engage in drug abuse tend to favour products that feature added colours or flavours. They opt for these items because they can discreetly carry them without detection by teachers or parents, thus concealing their habit of using narcotics.[3]

  1. Drug-Laced Candies: Decoding Covert Tactics for Enticing Children

Source:   https://www.mangaloretoday.com/opinion/Drug-laced-chocolates-that-make-children-float-high-as-a-kite.html

When most people think of illicit drugs, they envision small baggies of white powder or the distribution of unlabelled tablets. While many parents are on the lookout for these drugs, illicit drugs can come in a variety of forms, one such is Drug-laced Candies. These brightly coloured candies that catch the attention of the most frequent candy purchasers, children, are sometimes used to initiate the most lethal poison into the child’s system. Such candies, which can range from chocolate bars to gummy bears, are becoming increasingly popular. These sweet drugs are easily camouflaged, sweetened, and, admittedly, popular among young people. Their fairly innocuous form and colourful packaging make drug administration more accessible and less frightening than other routes of administration, such as injection with a needle. Not only can candy laced with drugs range from lollipops to tangy patches, but the drugs contained within the candies can also vary. Drug-laced candies are packaged in the same way as regular candies and are often difficult to distinguish.[4]

In the United States, drug syndicates have devised edible products that mimic classic candies appealing to children. Some of these edibles bear striking resemblance to familiar treats like “Gummy Bears”, while others have been branded with names such as “Pot Tarts”, “Buddahfinger”, “Munchy Way”, or “Keef Kat” This clever marketing approach raises significant concerns from both medical and public policy standpoints. The use of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in these products poses a serious risk to minors, as their neurological development differs significantly from that of adults, leading to potentially harmful effects that adults may not experience.[5]

There is a concerning global trend of drug-laced sweets and chocolates emerging in the market. In Yorkshire, England, authorities seized edible cannabis cleverly disguised as Christmas chocolates by drug dealers. These drug-laced sweets were made to resemble popular festive chocolate brands like Quality Streets, Celebrations and Aero Minis. However, they were named “Quality Heat”, “Calibrations”, and “Ammo Minis”, respectively. Additionally, candies resembling Dairy Milk and Milky Bar chocolates were also seized, but were found to be laced with drugs.[6]

In India, there have been reports emerging of candy-flavoured methamphetamine, sparking concern among law enforcement officials and experts in substance abuse prevention. There is growing apprehension that drug dealers are specifically targeting younger demographics with these flavoured variations. These traffickers are actively seeking customers, regardless of age, and are employing strategies such as changing the colour or flavour of the drug to make it appear less risky and attract a new base of users.[7] Children are exposed to intoxicating substances disguised as various items such as chalk candy, crystals, granulated sugar candy, and dark chocolate. Drugs are also available in sticker form, which can be discreetly placed under the tongue. These substances, being colourless and odourless, are difficult for teachers and parents to detect. Lab-made drugs have the potential to freeze the brain for up to twelve hours. This dire situation sometimes leads children to resort to criminal activities and drug trafficking to fund their drug use.[8]

Further, a new trend of electronic cigarettes (e-Cigarettes) has also taken the market by storm and causing chaos among the young population. Over a period of less than ten years, electronic cigarettes, also known as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) or e-cigarettes, have dramatically transformed the landscape of nicotine consumption among adolescents and young adults. Initially introduced as a method for harm reduction and smoking cessation among adult cigarette smokers, e-cigarettes and similar vaping devices have swiftly gained popularity among youth worldwide. Factors contributing to their widespread appeal include aggressive marketing targeted at young people by e-cigarette companies, easy accessibility to vaping products, affordability, minimal perceived risks, availability of youth-friendly flavours and designs, and highly efficient nicotine delivery resulting in potent psychoactive effects.[9] Despite the ban on marketing and selling electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in India since September 2019, vaping poses a considerable threat to the health and safety of Indian adolescents. Although the extent of youth e-cigarette usage in India is not fully understood, paediatricians frequently encounter cases involving young individuals who vape, seeking care for related issues.[10]

The increasing use of e-cigarettes among middle and high school students has become a significant concern for public health in recent years. There has been a notable rise in the prevalence of e-cigarette usage among adolescents, posing serious health risks. Recognising this trend, health authorities such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other organisations have identified adolescent e-cigarette use as a pressing public health issue. The long-term health effects of e-cigarette use are still not fully understood, thereby raising growing concerns among public health officials about the potential risks associated with vaping.[11]

  • Kinds of Drug-laced Candies

Some of the prominent types of drug-laced candies are:

Cannabis/Marijuana/Ganja-Laced Candy: Popularly known as “Pot Candies”, these are often imbued with Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which are the two natural compounds found in plants of the Cannabis plants. The effects on the body vary depending on the concentrations of the active ingredients and the strain of marijuana. Parents may express caution regarding their young children accidentally consuming marijuana-infused edibles, such as gummies, cookies, brownies and chocolates, which are popular methods of consumption. Such candies and edibles are believed to induce a stronger and more intense high than smoking marijuana. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these effects typically manifest about thirty minutes to an hour after consuming an edible.[12]

Meth-Laced Candy: Chocolate bars and “Gummy Bears” laced with drugs such as methamphetamine are also reported to be doing the rounds. Such candies come in shapes of popular fictional characters and on continued use, children can become dependent on these meth-laced candies owing to the addictive nature of meth, for which the user may eventually require institutional de-addiction treatment.[13] Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant that appears as a white, odourless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder. It can be administered orally, smoked, snorted, or injected after being dissolved in water or alcohol. Smoking or injecting the drug quickly delivers it to the brain, where it produces an intense euphoria.[14]

LSD-Laced Candy: Chocolates and sweets infused with LSD, a hallucinogenic drug, is also amongst the popular candies in the market.[15] LSD is a mind altering drug whose effects are unpredictable, depending upon the quantity consumed, mood and personality as well as the surroundings of the user.[16]

  1. The Scenario of Drug-Laced Candies in India and its Dangers

The Police have reported that the drug dealers with the intention of boosting their drug market sought to get children addicted to narcotics. Hence they target areas in and around schools to get a high number of children addicted to drugs. “Strawberry Quick” which is a meth-laced candy has been reported to be doing rounds in and around school in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Some of the schools of the region issued circulars alarming students and parents about the candy and asked the parents to instruct their children not to eat candies given to them by strangers or even friends. The Police reported that the new drug looks similar to crystal meth and resembles strawberry pop rocks. It has a strawberry aroma and has been distributed to school children in and around the school yards. It is also known as “Strawberry Meth”.[17] In Kolkata too, the Association of Heads of ICSE Schools has taken up steps to increase vigilance against hawkers selling food outside school campuses under the guise of “Strawberry Meth”.[18] The Delhi Police warned parents of another drug-laced candy known as ‘Halloween Candy’ which are found to be sold in areas near schools in the city. These candies chiefly contain ecstasy and its overdoses can be fatal for children.[19]

Incidents of children falling sick after consuming chocolates in the form of toffees laced with Cannabis/Ganja/Marijuana have been reported from Tondiarpet in Tamil Nadu. The Police found that the toffees were sold at a local shop and arrested the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper revealed that the toffees contained ganja and that he sold it to children. On further investigation, it was revealed that the problem was not limited to Tondiarpet only, infact huge sacks of ganja-laced candies and chocolates were seized by Food Safety Officers from a godown in Villupuram, as well as another batch from Kovilpatti in the Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu.[20]

Another incident was reported at Bangalore by one of the parents of a child studying at a prestigious convent school of the city. The child’s changing behaviour and health condition made the parents concerned which apparently convinced them that their child was consuming chocolates and candies laced with drugs. On reporting the matter to the Central Criminal Branch, an entire international drug racket was busted. The accused were procuring from Canada a special type of marijuana (“hydro Ganja”, “chocolate ganga”, “hashish oil” and “weed-flavoured cigarettes”) worth one crore rupees. The gang approached the drug sellers via the dark web (websites that host illegal listings that are not indexed by search engines). They communicated with the child via the Wickr Me mobile app. The drugs were delivered by courier from Canada, concealed in children’s milk powder tins and chocolate packets. Packages of the drugs were recovered from the peddlers’ apartment at Suddaguntepalya area of Bangalore, which were supposed to be distributed to most of the major cities of India – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and other cities. Such drugs costs around Rupees three to four thousand per gram in the international market and the dealers operated through a syndicate and have an organized network of buyers.[21] The drug peddlers targeted susceptible schoolchildren, especially those attending prestigious schools in the city, promising that the chocolates they distributed would enhance their focus on studies. Initially distributed as complimentary samples, these drug-infused chocolates were meant to entice students. Once hooked, the dealers charged steep prices for even small amounts, typically one or two grams. Among the clientele, children aged eight to twelve were commonly purchasing orange and strawberry-flavored ganja chocolates from these dealers.[22]

In Mangaluru, Karnataka, the fondness of children for a ₹20 chocolate prompted police attention towards two shops. Persistent demand for this specific chocolate from these shops led to a substantial drug bust. Two shopkeepers were subsequently arrested for selling chocolates containing marijuana. Following this discovery, Mangaluru police conducted raids on the two shops, resulting in the seizure of a combined 118 kg of drug-laced chocolates.[23] In 2021, law enforcement in Chennai detained a man for peddling lollipops containing drugs to minors. The lollipops were adulterated with codeine, a cough suppressant notorious for its addictive potential. In 2022, a woman was arrested in Kolkata for selling cannabis-laced biscuits to tourists[24] and authorities in Hyderabad apprehended an inter-state drug dealer for purportedly trafficking ganja-laced chocolates which he had allegedly obtained from Bihar and was selling them for prices ranging between ₹20 and ₹50 per piece.[25] In 2023, a man in Ahmedabad was apprehended for distributing nicotine-laced gum to teenagers.[26]

Cannabis (Ganja/Marijuana), widely researched as a psychoactive compound, stands as one of the most extensively studied worldwide. However, the combination of cannabis with chocolate introduces the possibility of integrating with cadmium. Given that cacao, the main ingredient in chocolate, frequently harbours cadmium, this raises substantial concerns due to the prevalent consumption of chocolate-based products by children. This situation is alarming because even minimal exposure to cadmium, a heavy metal, can prove toxic to kidney function and overall human health. Cannabis can have significant negative effects on young children, impairing their capacity to develop social and problem-solving abilities and possibly hindering cognitive function and overall emotional intelligence.[27]

Products such as chocolate edibles require thorough screening due to the potential presence of significant amounts of heavy metals, pesticides, mycotoxins and other hazardous substances within the cannabis they contain. Presently, Turkish chocolates are prevalent across bakeries, malls and eateries, especially in the metro cities, boasting vibrant packaging and large displays. India heavily relies on imports from Turkey for chocolate and chocolate sauce, ranking as the world’s second-largest importer. Despite the presence of local manufacturers and imitations, the lack of quality control results in cheaper products with higher profit margins for outlets compared to established firms. Importantly, many Turkish chocolates imported into India lack expiration dates, putting unsuspecting children and students at risk of consuming not only cannabis-laced chocolates but also expired products, posing significant health hazards.[28]

Thus, the widespread availability of drug-laced candies among children raises concerns about its prevalence throughout the nation. Several incidents have been reported across the nation which is in itself evident of the disastrous scenario of food adulteration and concerns over food safety, particularly for children.

  • Dangers of Drug-laced Candies

One of the most serious risks of drug-laced candy is that much of it is not regulated. Just like drugs in any other form, laced candy can trigger a variety of mild or severe symptoms in individuals, depending on factors such as the substance type, potency and amount ingested.[29] The potency of the drug, as well as the composition of these drug-laced treats, can differ greatly from one source to another. Various batches from the same source may also differ substantially, in consequence of which it becomes difficult to determine how much of a drug has been consumed or what drug has been consumed. As a result, the user may consume more than they intended or a drug they were unaware of.[30]

Another major issue with drug-laced candies is its innocent appearance, which makes the buyers consume drugs without knowledge about it. With continued use, this could lead to addiction, and the consumer may need drug de-addiction treatment and rehabilitation. Drug-laced candies can also be mixed with other drugs or alcohol by the user. Often unregulated, such candies or chocolates stands as a massive threat for children who have an insatiable want for sweet treats. Gummy candies laced with drugs frequently resemble regular gummy candies, thereby making such candies highly attractive for children who may consume it in large quantities leading to overdose. If left unregulated, young children may consume them in dangerously large proportions causing serious health issues.[31]

If a child inadvertently consumes a marijuana-infused edible, parents or caregivers may not immediately detect a distinct aroma, unlike with smoked marijuana. Instead, symptoms such as red eyes, slowed reactions, cognitive difficulties in comprehension or response and signs like frequent blinking due to dry eyes or excessive thirst from dry mouth may appear. When considering candy that might have been adulterated with meth or fentanyl or marijuana, one should be vigilant for the following symptoms such as drowsiness or dizziness, shallow or slowed breathing, dilated or pinpoint pupils, increased heart rate, tremors or shaking, nausea and vomiting, as well as seizures. These manifestations could suggest exposure to harmful substances, underscoring the necessity of prompt intervention and medical assistance if any of these signs appear.[32]

  • Copycat Packaging

Numerous media reports are surfacing regarding the confiscation of drug-laced chocolates from various retail outlets and eateries. Often, consumers, particularly children and students, are unaware that these products are untested, unlabelled and vary in potency. Many of these items are deliberately fashioned and packaged to resemble popular chocolates and toffees, a trend of copycat packaging that is not uncommon and raises concerns for various reasons.[33] A few of the reasons are as follows:

  • The resemblance of copycat packaging to regular chocolates can be deceptive, leading individuals to mistake these products for standard confectionery items.
  • Numerous products are tainted with Cannabis or other potentially lethal narcotics, often containing higher levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than deemed safe by medical experts.
  • The vibrant packaging and similarity to conventional chocolates can significantly allure children, potentially ensnaring them in addiction.
  1. Conclusion – Control and Preventive Approaches

India hosts nearly 19% of the world’s children, with 43.11% of the population being under 18 years of age as of 2023.[34] The prevalence of substance use among children and adolescents is a significant global health concern. Children who are introduced to drug use and trafficking, and those affected by drug abuse, are classified as children in need of care and protection under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. Section 77 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 prescribes stringent penalties, including imprisonment for up to seven years and a fine of one lakh rupees, for individuals found guilty of providing intoxicating liquor, narcotics, tobacco products, or psychotropic substances to any child.

In India, there exists a sizable segment of young individuals deemed vulnerable to substance use and subsequent addiction. While there is typically a decline in drug/substance initiation with age, recent trends indicate a disturbing pattern of decreasing age of onset, with drug/substance use commencing as early as childhood and preadolescence. Early initiation of drug use is frequently associated with enduring behavioural challenges. Moreover, drug/substance abuse can exert detrimental effects on cognitive development, interpersonal relationships and academic performance.[35]

The emergence of drug-laced sweets and chocolates presents a new concern for parents regarding the safety of food items purchased from bakeries, sweet shops, and snack joints. This trend also introduces a novel avenue through which young children may be exposed to synthetic drugs, potentially leading to addiction.[36] One of the significant risks associated with drug laced chocolates is that their production is carried out in illegal makeshift facilities by uneducated labourers. The potency and composition of these drug-laced chocolates can vary widely between sources, and even different batches from the same source may differ significantly. Due to the absence of regulations and quality checks, along with no information on expiry dates, there’s uncertainty about the drugs’ content and dosage. This uncertainty puts children and students at risk of unintentionally consuming unknown quantities or types of drugs, potentially leading to unintended consequences such as overdose or addiction without awareness. Additionally, the lack of awareness about the substances being sold, bought and consumed heightens the risk of polysubstance use, resulting in unforeseen and dangerous side-effects.[37]

Comprehensive efforts aimed at fostering healthy lifestyles are being implemented across various domains, including educational institutions, childcare facilities and within family settings. The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) in April 2020 released a video titled “Be Aware, Be Wise, Think Twice” on social media platforms which aimed to address the dangers of cannabis by depicting spontaneous conversations between adults and young children. Similar to advising children against accepting sweets and candies from strangers, the video emphasised that in some regions, seemingly innocent treats can contain controlled drugs. It served as a cautionary message to parents and educators to remain vigilant against such ‘edibles’ while educating children and teenagers about the harmful effects of drugs.[38]

Educating children and students about the dangers of these types of substances and the risks of buying sweets, chocolates and snacks from unknown shops and eateries, especially those functioning near the vicinity of schools and colleges is also an effective step towards preventing the issue. On the other hand, parents must remain vigilant if they notice their children frequently experiencing symptoms such as drowsiness, lethargy, semi-alertness and nausea. While limited ingestion of substances may not necessarily lead to significant long-term issues, but the problem is today’s students have to attend coaching classes after regular school and college hours, and hence have the habit of regularly snacking at nearby bakeries, cool-bars and ice-cream joints. Parents are often unaware of what and where their children are consuming various food items from. School and college authorities, as well as tuition and coaching centres, cannot be blamed, as it falls beyond their jurisdiction to conduct quality checks on food vendors in the vicinity. The risks are particularly heightened for students residing in hostels or living independently, relying solely on small hotels and eateries. The upsurge of bakeries near educational institutions, selling uncertified snack items without any quality assurance, poses a significant concern. Many instances of apparent food poisoning in households could potentially be attributed to the ingestion of prohibited substances. With no testing procedures in place, sellers and underground operators evade detection and punishment.[39]

The drug menace in India exhibits regional variations and is shaped by the availability of illicit drugs in major cities proximate to reservations. Methamphetamine and marijuana persist as the most commonly abused substances across the nation. The drug mafias represent a significant threat, controlling illicit drug markets and engaging in various criminal activities. These drug syndicates operate clandestinely, utilising sophisticated networks for trafficking drugs across the country and beyond its borders. They often have deep-rooted connections with other criminal organisations, such as smuggling rings and organised crime groups, contributing to the increase in narcotics and psychotropic substances. The activities of Indian drug syndicates pose serious challenges to law enforcement agencies and public health initiatives aimed at combating drug abuse and trafficking.[40] Hence, effective approaches to drug crime is a mandate now which accounts for robust strategies for smart policing, smart justice and smart alternatives.

In a recent joint operation in January 2024, officers from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) across the Chennai, Bengaluru, and Imphal zones collaborated to bust an international drug syndicate. The syndicate was involved in trafficking methamphetamine from Myanmar to Sri Lanka, passing were apprehended and authorities confiscated 15.8 kg of the illicit drug. Similarly, in December 2023, officers from the NCB Chennai zone confiscated 4.8 kg of methamphetamine and apprehended four individuals, one of whom was a woman, in Chennai. Subsequent interrogation revealed that they had procured and smuggled the illicit substance from Moreh in Manipur.[41]

India has put in place constitutional and legal measures to tackle the issue of drug abuse. Article 47 of the Constitution of India mandates the state to work towards improving the standard of living and nutrition of its people, with a primary responsibility to enhance public health. The state is obligated to prohibit the consumption of drugs and alcohol that are harmful to health, except for medical purposes. Regarding the judiciary’s role in addressing drug abuse among children, a significant ruling was made by the Indian Judiciary in the case of Bachpan Bachao Andolan v. Union of India & Ors.[42] This case, initiated as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, emphasised the concerning rise in drug and alcohol consumption among the youth, particularly children. The Supreme Court highlighted the alarming situation and issued a series of guidelines, urging the Central Government to devise a national action plan to combat the growing issue of substance abuse among school children and mandated a national survey.

Despite the judgment, the Central Ministry failed to comply with it. However, the issue resurfaced following an order from the Supreme Court in the Writ Petition of Kethireddy Jagadishwar Reddy v. Union of India.[43] Consequently, as a result of the aforementioned case, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) jointly formulated a “Prevention of Drug and Substance Abuse among Children and Illicit Trafficking” action plan in February 2021. The Joint Action Plan was formulated based on the findings of a nationwide survey conducted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, in collaboration with the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. The survey, titled “National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India: Magnitude of Substance Use in India (2019)”, served as the foundation for the plan. This comprehensive framework aimed to steer children away from drug abuse and restrict the sale of narcotics and psychotropic substances near schools, educational institutions, and childcare facilities. It also emphasised the need for ‘planned interventions’ to prevent pharmaceutical drugs and other intoxicants from reaching children.[44] The Central Government has initiated the implementation of the Joint Action Plan in 272 districts across India, including all eight states of the North-East Region, which have been identified as vulnerable from the supply point of view.[45]

Hence, despite rigorous preventive and control measures, the situation persists as traffickers constantly adapt their methods and form alliances with insurgents. Both the government and civil society now recognise the necessity of a zero-tolerance policy to combat the drug menace. It is imperative to implement a stringent demand-supply-harm reduction strategy to address this pressing issue and safeguard our future generations from its devastating consequences.


Sharmistha Baruah, Research Officer, DPIIT-IPR Chair, National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam.


[1]        Dianne Feinstein, “Feinstein, Grassley introduce Bill to combat Candy and Fruit flavoured Drugs marketed to Children”, available at: https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2017/3/feinstein-grassley-introduce-bill-to-combat-candy-and-fruit-flavored-drugs-marketed-to-children (last visited on December 24, 2023).

[2]        “Drugs under Guise of Sweets are the New Trap for Children”, The Times of India (July 22. 2016), available at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/53331448.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst (last visited on December 26, 2023).

[3]        Ibid.

[4]        “Tricky Treats: The Different Types & Dangers of Laced Candy”, available at: https://vertavahealthohio.com/blog/dangers-of-laced-candy/ (last visited on December 29, 2023).

[5]        Paul J. Larkin Jr., “Marijuana Candies and Gummy Bears”, 66(2) Buffalo Law Review 321 (2018).

[6]        Dr. G. Shreekumar Menon, “Drug-laced Chocolates that make Children float high as a Kite”, available at: https://www.mangaloretoday.com/opinion/Drug-laced-chocolates-that-make-children-float-high-as-a-kite.html (last visited on March 09, 2024).

[7]        Poonam Ninave and Rajesh Yadav, “Flavored Drug Candy: A New Way of Drug Trafficking”, Abstract Conference Paper National Conference on Forensic Science at the Service of Mankind at Department of Anthropology, Forensic Science Unit, Lucknow University, Lucknow (March 2017).

[8]        “Red juice, chewing gum, candy; Drugs in different form popular among School Children in State”, Kaumudi Online (Oct. 08. 2023), available at: https://keralakaumudi.com/en/news/news.php?id=1164892&u=red-juice-chewing-gum-candy-drugs-in-different-form-popular-among-schoolchildren-in-state-1164892 (last visited on March 09, 2024).

[9]        Swati Y. Bhave and Nicholas Chadi, “E-cigarettes and Vaping: A Global Risk for Adolescents”, 58 Indian Pediatrics 315 – 319 (2021), available at: https://indianpediatrics.net/apr2021/apr-315-319.htm (last visited on March 09, 2024).

[10]      Ibid.

[11]      Sairaj Khambayat, Arpita Jaiswal, et.al., “Vaping Among Adolescents: An Overview of E-Cigarette Use in Middle and High School Students in India”, 15(5) Cureus 1 (2023).

[12]      Julia Naftulin “Police are warning about marijuana-laced Halloween Candy. Here’s what that could do to a kid’s body and brain”, Business Insider, available at: https://www.insider.com/signs-child-ate-marijuana-edible-risks-2019-10 (last visited on March 10, 2024).

[13]      “Tricky Treats: The Different Types & Dangers of Laced Candy”, available at: https://vertavahealthohio.com/blog/dangers-of-laced-candy/ (last visited on March 10, 2024).

[14]      Victoria Troeger and William Gardner, “Summary of Methamphetamine Use in Montana” Public Health 1 (2020).

[15]      Supra note 13.

[16]      “What are the risks of LSD?”, available at: https://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/lsd/what-are-the-risks-of-lsd.html (last visited on December 30, 2023).

[17]      Imran Fazal, “Candy Drugs doing rounds in Schools”, available at: https://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-candy-drugs-doing-rounds-in-schools-parents-warned-2296825 (last visited on December 30, 2023).

[18]      “Schools step up vigil after reports on drug-laced candies”, available at: https://www.india.com/news/agencies/schools-step-up-vigil-after-reports-on-drug-laced-candies-2531304/ (last visited on December 30, 2023).

[19]      Chayyanika Nigam, “Candy Drug makes a comeback in Delhi; children in peril, parents warned”, available at: https://www.indiatoday.in/mail-today/story/delhi-candy-drugs-meth-children-strawberry-quick-mephedrone-957718-2017-01-29 (last visited on March 11, 2024).

[20]      Divya Karthikeyan, “To keep kids hooked, are some TN shops lacing candies with Opiates?”, available at: https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/keep-kids-hooked-are-some-tn-shops-lacing-candies-opiates-4657 (last visited on March 11, 2024).

[21]      Bangalore Mirror Bureau, “Candy for free near School? Could be Drugs”, available at: https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/others/candy-for-free-near-school-could-be-drugs/articleshow/72300354.cms (last visited on March 11, 2024).

[22]      Ibid.

[23]      Sajay Raj, “Marijuana-laced chocolates sold to kids in Mangaluru, 2 arrested”, India Today (Aug. 11, 2023), available at: https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/marijuana-laden-chocolates-sold-to-kids-in-mangaluru-2-shopkeepers-arrested-2419463-2023-08-11 (last visited on March 11, 2024).

[24] EdexLive Desk, “Drug-laced confectionery being sold to students in India”, available at: https://www.edexlive.com/happening/2023/aug/26/drug-laced-confectionery-being-sold-to-students-in-india-37273.html (last visited on March 11, 2024).

[25]      “Man Sold Drug-Laced Chocolates for ₹50 each, arrested: Hyderabad Cops”, available at: https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/man-sold-drug-laced-chocolates-for-rs-50-each-arrested-hyderabad-cops-3640134 (last visited on March 12, 2024).

[26]      Supra note 24.

[27]      Dr. G Shreekumar Menon, “Hashish Chocolates and the Cannabis Chocolate Industry”, available at: https://www.mangaloretoday.com/opinion/Hashish-Chocolates-and-the-Cannabis-Chocolate-Industry.html (last visited on March 12, 2024).

[28]      Ibid.

[29]      “What to Do If Your Child Eats Laced Candy”, available at: https://www.highfocuscenters.com/what-to-do-if-your-child-eats-laced-candy/ (last visited on March 12, 2024).

[30]      Supra note 13.

[31]      Ibid.

[32]      Supra note 29.

[33]      Ibid.

[34]      UNICEF, “How many Children are there in India?”, available at: https://data.unicef.org/how-many/how-many-children-under-18-are-there-in-india/ (last visited March 12, 2024).

[35]      National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, “National Consultation on Drug/Substance Use among Children”, 4, 6 (2019).

[36]      Supra note 6.

[37]      Ibid.

[38]      Manop Kanato, Rachanikorn Sarasiri, et.al., “ASEAN Drug Monitoring Report 2020”, 185 (2020).

[39]      Supra note 6.

[40]      Drug Enforcement Administration, “National Drug Threat Assessment”, 7 (2019).

[41]      R. Sivaraman, “Narcotics Control Bureau busts international drug syndicate, seizes 15.8 kg of methamphetamine, and arrests 8 persons”, The Hindu (Jan. 02, 2024), available at: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/narcotics-control-bureau-busts-international-drug-syndicate-seizes-158-kg-of-methamphetamine-and-arrests-8-persons/article67698740.ece (last visited on March 12, 2024).

[42]      Writ Petition (Civil) No. 906 of 2014.

[43]      Writ Petition(s) (Civil) No(s). 863/2017.

[44]      Esha Roy, “NCPCR-NCB release action plan to combat drug abuse among children”, The Indian Express, (Feb. 10, 2021), available at: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/ncpcr-ncb-release-actionplan-to-combat-drug-abuse-among-children-7182021/ (last visited on March 12, 2024).

[45]      Government of India, “Joint Action Plan on Prevention of Drugs and Substance Abuse among Children and Illicit Trafficking” 69-71 (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Narcotics Control Bureau, 2021).

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