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New THC candy deemed illegal

31 May 2013 | Cpl. Ali Azimi

Cheeba Chews are a small, taffy-textured product, enclosed in an attractive colorful wrapping. They are marketed in a variety of candy-like flavors, but a read of the label reveals their true intent.

These assorted taffies contain tetrahydrocannabinol, the main chemical component in marijuana. Since its discovery by law enforcement, it has come under investigation.  The candy has been deemed a controlled substance and is banned within the Marine Corps.

This new candy is unlike other edible THC-based products found at marijuana dispensaries, said Gunnery Sgt. Isaac Lynn, Substance Abuse Control Officer. Cookies and hash-type products sold in those stores are legally sold and regulated by the state. These chews are illegal.

“This has been identified by law enforcement and is working its way up through the Drug Enforcement Administration,” Lynn added. “It is identified as a controlled substance, therefore anyone caught with it will be processed per the separations manual.”

The dose found in one 10-gram cube is more than a million times the amount needed in a Marine’s urine to be tested positive during a urinalysis. Marines testing positive will face punitive action regardless of claims of negligence to the contents of the chews.

“It’s such a concentrated dose of THC, that if you metabolize it, it would be 70 milligrams to 175 milligrams of THC that would appear on the drug test,” Lynn said. “It’s four times the concentrated dose. Bottom line, it’s a synthetic mix of THC and they cook it into different flavors of candy.”

Cheeba Chews deliver the THC directly to the blood stream after dissolving in the mouth, unlike marijuana which is most commonly smoked and works through the lungs.

These 10-gram cubes produce a euphoric absence of reality, according to Lynn.

In addition to the end of a Marine’s career in the Corps or possible jail time, Cheeba Chews may have adverse-health effects, contrary to claims made by the product’s website.

“It can cause various medical problems because of the high concentration of THC in such a small candy-like chewable substance,” Lynn said.

A good rule of thumb for the sake of Marines’ health and careers is simply to stay away from the illegal substance.  There is zero tolerance.

“Everyone has common sense to know what a legitimate candy looks like,” Lynn said. “There are no excuses because the information is out there.”

For more information call the SACO at 830-1116.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms