Pot Suckers

By Olivia Willoughby

Pot Sucker: shaped like a marijuana leaf, tastes like a sour apple.

While these candies do not carry the marijuana drug inside them, some students thought the product was misleading and promoted the wrong message to children.

“The name sounds ridiculous,” said Piyathida Sereebenjapol, instructional technology doctoral student. “I don’t think it’s a good thing, no matter if you’re selling it or consuming it.”

Sereebenjapol said Pot Suckers are misleading. The candies can hide behind an innocent wrapper and sour apple taste, but some might not even notice what the sellers promote.

“I guess they’re trying to be smart about it, but it’s still not right,” said Arial Grant, sophomore pre-family, consumer and nutrition sciences major. “It makes me think they’re trying to promote weed.”

Sereebenjapol also said Pot Suckers sellers “have to think about society in general,” especially when it comes to children.

“When you put [the] marijuana [symbol] and candy together, the candy kind of persuades you to try it,” Sereebenjapol said. “If you put it in a candy wrapper, I’m afraid of children seeing that [and] they might want to try that.”

However, the Pot Sucker makers may be on to an effective marketing strategy, said Joel Thalla, junior rhetorical communication major and executive director of NIU Students For Sensible Drug Policy.

“There has to be a strategy involved here due to the fact that the suckers have no marijuana in them,” Thalla said. “Because of this fact, there has to be a reason that the suckers are shaped like a marijuana leaf. I think the strategy is very similar to candy cigarettes: Get children to feel cool about the certain product.”

Grant said Pot Suckers are a negative thing and she is concerned about children possibly getting a hold of the candies.

“Since children imitate what they see older people doing, it’s going to have a negative effect,” Grant said. “I’m not one for drugs and I wouldn’t want my nephew sucking on those lollipops.”

Muhammad Mustafa owner of Smokers World, 818 W. Lincoln Highway # 3, said he would not want children having Pot Suckers. However, he said if venders sell them in locations where children are not prevalent, there is no problem.

“It’s not a big deal if they’re sold in novelty shops,” Mustafa said. “Sex sells and drugs sell, in a sense. If they find that [Pot Suckers] target drug users, then that’s good for them. If it’s not doing anything illegal, I don’t see a problem with it. As a business owner, I would consider carrying them.”

Mustafa said he does not see anything wrong with the product since it is only candy. Thalla also said he remembers once smoking fake candy cigarettes to feel “cool,” so he feels the Pot Suckers marketing strategy will be successful.