Punta Gorda man found in possession of marijuana candy bars

Posted at 2:04 PM, Dec 08, 2015
and last updated 2017-04-05 10:30:06-04

A Punta Gorda man was arrested after Charlotte County Sheriff's deputies found pot-laced chocolate in his car.


His arrest shining a spotlight on the rise in drug-laced candy here in southwest Florida, and is becoming more available.


Andrew George, 27, is facing multiple drug charges after being pulled over in front of his uncle's house on Orangeade Drive.


George's neighbor said he wasn't surprised about the arrest in his neighborhood.


"This neighborhood is full of all kinds of things. It's full with all kinds of people. We're a lower class neighborhood," he said.


The neighbor also said he didn't think pot-laced chocolate is a big deal.


"I think it's fine because we live in a country where it's becoming more legal," he said.


While it may be legal in other states, Brandon Short of White Sands Treatment Center said it can be very dangerous, especially in southwest Florida, because people are making this in their own homes and selling it.


"In the western states they have to put on there 'there is thc in this chocolate.' This chocolate that people make in their homes certainly is not regulated. It can be consumed by the unsuspecting person," Short said.


Why? Because at first glance, it looks any other white chocolate candy bar.


"It's hard to distinguish. It's not rolled up in a piece of zig-zag paper. It's not in a bowl. It's not in a marijuana pipe," Short said.


Short said he's heard reports of people ending up in the ER with paranoia or hallucinations, and said if a child gets their hands on this, it can be even worse.


"To a four-year-old, a piece of chocolate is a piece of chocolate, and it can be devastating to a young child," he told Four in Your Corner's Lisa Greenberg.


He said at White Sands, they see plenty of people who have tried some form of it.

"I would say probably 90 percent of our marijuana smokers have had some type of edible marijuana in one way shape or form," he said.


Deputies also found Adderall in George's car, a prescribed drug for people with ADHD.

Short said he sees a lot of Adderall abuse at White Sands, and said people using it recreationally can face severe complications to their heart and lungs.