To the editor:
While many citizens worried about the danger of fentanyl in children’s trick-or-treat candy, a more insidious and present problem took residence in our Calumet County communities.
How many of you have noticed stores popping up with neon signs advertising Delta-8 or Delta-9? Maybe you’ve seen brightly colored packages of candies, drinks, or vaping products containing Delta-8, Delta-9, or Delta 10 next to the checkout counters at your local gas stations. These products are sold openly to children of any age because there are no rules or ordinances regulating their sales. So why should you care?
Since the Hemp Bill passed in Wisconsin making CBD legal for sale there has been a glut of the chemical in the marketplace. Many other hemp-related products have been created that fly under the radar of any regulations. Thus the development of the Delta products group. (The technical term is “hemp-derived cannabinoids.”)
None of the Delta products have been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use in any context. Some of these products may be labeled simply as a “hemp product” which can mislead consumers who associate “hemp” with “non-psychoactive.” This isn’t entirely true. These products have been known to cause paranoia and anxiety and to trigger mental illness in teens. They can have psychoactive and intoxicating effects. Do we want our school-aged children to have uncontrolled access to these products? The possible side-effects from the impact on brain development and chemistry is worrisome, not to mention the concern that they contain harmful by-products from the harsh chemicals used to synthesize Delta products from hemp.
So what can we do? Obviously, these products are legal for adults, even though their safety is not guaranteed—no testing protocols or regulatory oversight exists for them. We don’t legally sell cigarettes or alcohol to under-aged children, it seems logical that we should also manage this danger to protect our children.
Share this information with parents, grandparents and teachers. Awareness of the danger is a good first step.
How about some local ordinances?
- Require checking of age-based IDs for sales of all Delta products.
- Require placement of Delta products behind the sales counter, especially those items that tempt younger eyes through enticing packaging.
- Do not allow purchase of these products from vending machines, similar to the long-established rules that prohibit vending machines for cigarette sales.
The Kaukauna City Council just passed its first ordinance regarding Delta products. Maybe the Calumet County Board could pass a resolution in support of similar ordinances in all Calumet County communities.
As it stands right now, a school-aged child can walk down the street from school and purchase some Delta candies or seltzer without parental permission or knowledge—products that are not necessarily safe for adults much less for a child’s developing brain.
Judith A. Hartl
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