Student Paper Apologizes for Story Saying Cops Gave Kids LSD Lollipops on Halloween

The student newspaper at a Canadian college is apologizing for a recent satirical article alleging local police accidentally handed out “grape-flavored LSD lollipops” to hundreds of schoolchildren on Halloween.

The account of youngsters and teens subsequently tripping on acid upset some readers, especially those who did not see the article’s “Humor” label and instead thought cops had actually distributed LSD to kids.

According to the satire, published earlier this month in The Other Press at Douglas College, the New Westminster police deliver candy to area schools each Halloween as a display of community support. Unfortunately, $150,000 worth of the psychedelic drug LSD was infused into the lollipops distributed during the most recent holiday — apparently without officers’ knowledge.

The faux result, according to an imaginary high school principal: “Too many children showed up tripping balls! I thought it was a prank at first, but when one child thought that a unicorn really was about to stab him … that’s when I called 911.” Meanwhile, the students who licked the mind-altering ‘pops were most intrigued by their street value. One middle schooler: “I had no idea I was ingesting such a fancy candy! If I had known, I would have sold it and bought myself a new bike!”

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After some blowback, the OP pulled the story from its website. In addition, late last week its editor-in-chief issued a formal apology to the police. A portion of the apology, which appears online and will also run in the paper’s next print edition:

While the article was never meant to be interpreted as real reporting, it has come to our attention that the piece was seen by several parties as actual happenings in our community and that is unacceptable. Neither the writer nor the newspaper itself had intended for the story to be taken for a real-life event, but our intentions are irrelevant. The article has had a negative effect on the New Westminster Police Department’s image and we hope that this apology may reach those of you affected by this so the misinformation can be corrected. We are also sorry to any members of the community that we may have caused alarm in or misled in any away. The Other Press takes pride in being a community-based publication and it pains us to hear that something we were responsible for has had negative repercussions throughout New Westminster. Our mission is to inform and entertain, but never to mislead.

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As the New Westminster News Leader confirms, the local police department responded with its own statement. It mostly clarifies that jokes involving drugs, kids and police are probably not a great idea, while offering slight kudos to the paper for at least cleaning up the satirical mess quickly.

As it reads, “Like anyone else, [members of the police department] do have a sense of humor, however, it does not extend to off-color jokes about children ingesting illegal drugs. Furthermore, it was felt there was significant possibility the article could be misinterpreted by members of the public as being factual in nature. The [police] are appreciative of the timely manner in which this issue was dealt with and consider the matter now closed.”

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