ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – A traffic stop in Atlantic Beach last week led to the arrest of a 33-year-old man on charges of possession of marijuana-laced candy, marijuana, cocaine, mushrooms and LSD.
Last Tuesday evening, an Atlantic Beach officer on patrol spotted a car with a headline out at the intersection of Mayport Road and Plaza Drive. According to an arrest report, the officer then saw the car go through a red turn arrow without stopping and made a traffic stop.
The report said David Haddad had watery and glassy eyes, a blank stare and was sweating heavily when stopped. He was unable to find his driver's license, telling the officer he'd lost his wallet at a bar.
The report said a search of the car with the help of a K-9 officer turned up a small amount of marijuana in a cellophane wrapper on the floor of the car; a grocery bag on the passenger seat that contained 26 bags of "gummies" with labels saying they contained 75 mg of THC, the active ingredient of marijuana; five small bags of cocaine; a backpack that contained more candy labeled to contain 100 mg of THC; a plastic bag containing 15 ounces of mushroom; papers from a magazine that later tested positive for LSD, and a small metal pipe. Haddad told police the candies "were his which he got from a stripper."
Haddad is listed as living about one mile from an Atlantic Beach park where dozens of children played baseball Tuesday evening. Parents, like Derek Martin told News4Jax this arrest has them very upset and concerned.
"It's concerning to me personally, because we teach our kids to not take anything from children or strangers or anything like that," said Martin.
"Just cause you know, kid thinks it's candy and tries to taste it and eats it and winds up in hospital. You never know," Jason Roberts said.
Haddad was charged with trafficking in LSD, possession of a hallucinogen with intent to sell, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession for the manufacture or delivery of drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and two traffic offenses. He was also charged with possession of marijuana, cocaine and hallucinogens with intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a place of worship.
While News4Jax has not learned of any reports of the THC-laced candies being found in area schools, police have warned parents that marijuana edibles have become popular across the country.
Dr. Pam Mullarkey Robbins is the CEO and founder of Project SOS, an organization designed to help empower children and parents. Robbins said this is a lesson for parents about any candy their children have.
"I would say if you don't have a label and an identifiable candy maker you trust, then I would not let your kids have it. I would go through every piece of candy, because they're trying to get them hooked on marijuana so they can eventually be sellers and make money, is what it's all about," Mullarkey said.
Authorities said these candidates can be extremely dangerous because people who eat them may not realize they are getting high and then eat more.
The experts said when someone consumes marijuana in an ingestible form, its THC is metabolized by the liver, which produces a stronger effect. It can also be dangerous to eat marijuana candy while using some medications, which could lead to an overdose.