Marijuana-infused cookies sit on the packaging table at The Growing Kitchen in Boulder in September 2014. (Brennan Linsley, Associated Press file)

Editorial: Edibles ‘stop sign’ symbol wrong way to go, but other rules work

Marijuana edibles should be able to be identified when they are outside of their packages, and the state is finally closing in on a solution to what has been a vexing problem for too long.

The Marijuana Enforcement Division is proposing a new pot symbol — an octagon stop-sign shape with the letters “THC,” for pot’s psychoactive ingredient — be affixed to individual items, not just to packaging labels.

This is close to being a good solution. But the symbol should lose the stop sign. Edible marijuana is legal in Colorado, and a stop sign is akin to asking the industry to put a skull and cross bones on items.

The purpose should be to alert the unwary that the product contains marijuana, not necessarily to tell people they shouldn’t consume it. That’s their decision.

The argument for the stop sign is to prevent children from accidentally ingesting pot. But would it? Why would a 5-year-old pause when seeing the symbol?

Keeping pot away from kids is an adult responsibility, just as it is with other drugs.

Nevertheless, all pot edibles outside of their packaging should carry some identifiable indicator, such as the letters “THC.”

Other rules that will be open to public discussion on Aug. 31 are also on track.

One would ban the word “candy” from being associated with marijuana products, even if they are sweets like suckers or gummy chews. Good idea.

Another rule justly forbids manufacturers from buying candy in bulk, spraying it with cannabis concentrate and reselling it as edible pot.

And another would limit liquid marijuana products to single-serve packages, such as those containing 10 milligrams of marijuana.

A bill passed in 2014 requires the state to have edible marijuana rules in place by January. But previous efforts to draft regulations have been stymied by disagreements between pot critics and manufacturers.

The new proposals don’t ban anything. They are common-sense solutions to making edibles recognizable and safer.

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