both patients and recreational consumers of cannabis typically spend a great deal of time deconstructing every piece of luggage they are taking with them across any border for any signs of paraphernalia or worse, a cannabis product itself. almost every consumer or patient that uses cannabis with any semblance of regularity has a story about a roach dropping out of their wallet while they are in line at the smithsonian or whilst paying for your all-you-can-eat bbq in louisville, kentucky. perhaps it was the metal pipe or the one-hitter with one hit still left found deep inside that pocket of the jacket they’ve worn over a few borders since they lost that pipe.
cannabis consumers also spend a great deal of time curating snacks and consumables for those rare occasions where we find ourselves with “the munchies”. perhaps this happens to some of us more than others. with both easter and 4/20 landing on the same weekend, it will make for a busy and possibly foggy few days ahead. if you're traveling - especially by air - you might want to be extra diligent while packing.
but when deconstructing and scrubbing your bag like you’re a drug-sniffing german shepherd in the santiago summer heat, you might overlook one of modern day’s most confounding pieces of contraband while patting down the inside pockets of your backpack. if you’re a chocolate fan with a playful personality, your arsenal might include the popular kinder surprise egg. not only do you get your fix of german chocolate, you also think you have a do-it-yourself toy that will help kill ten minutes of your flight to the usa (and to a lesser extent, chile), and that doesn’t even include actually playing with it. am i right?
you just landed yourself a $300 fine and lost your nexus pass, child killer!!!
the food and drug administration does not permit food to be sold with a non-nutritive object such as a tasty chocolate egg with an obviously oversized piece of plastic inside (containing even more plastic inside that) which might be a choking hazard for a child. despite repeated warnings on kinder surprise labels, it was still not enough to convince the fda that this was a safe product to be marketed towards children.
in all fairness, there was a legitimate case of a three year old girl in france that choked on the assembled toy and later died from related brain damage after being resuscitated. in 1985, three-year old roddy john breslin choked to death on the assembled toy. in defense of ferrero and the kinder surprise treat, the deaths were not attributed to the children biting into the confectionary and happened after the toy had been assembled. “wheels” were cited as the reason for the respective toys being the choking hazard that they were. both of these deaths are sad tragedies but are only loosely tied to the actual kinder product itself.
so now what are you going to do with those ten minutes you just added to the psychological profile of your flight itinerary, you ask? you can’t call your lawyer until you land. try a kinder joy instead! this half egg, half “toy container” innovation is ferrero’s answer to america’s undying commitment to protecting the lives of their children (see also “the second amendment”). america has gone to great lengths to ensure that the choking hazard itself is clearly identified so as not to confuse american children that a cumbersome plastic egg-within-an-egg is food. as no child has choked from swallowing the oversized plastic sheath containing the toy, it only makes sense that if we simply stop wrapping the item that isn't the choking hazard in chocolate, and instead wrap it in more plastic that is also too large for a child to swallow mistakenly, it should resolve the hazard that is actually the toy itself. applying this logic, ferrero has designed an fda-approved plastic spoon small enough to choke a child taped to the outside of the plastic half of the toy packaging (but inside the egg) to be used to ingest an emulsification of the increasingly unsustainable oil of the palm plant. this has effectively anesthetized most negative nationalist sentiments directed at ferrero allowing americans to feel like the kinder joy is actually an acceptable substitute to the kinder surprise prohibition.
lucky for americans, there are lots of snack treats that they can’t get at home that can be brought over the border with ease. although not employed as an evaluative tool for the nsa, your mental health will not come under question if you show up to a land border with a can of pink cream soda. the same goes for all-dressed and ketchup chips, nanaimo bars, and the true litmus test for “batshit”, a big turk. you will lose nothing but respect if this is the only thing that falls out of your bag, mid-search.
other things you don’t want to hear at customs:
“are these your pomelos?”
“your hide drum. haitian goat, by any chance?”
“is that weed in your kinder surprise?”
“secondary search and mental health assessment for the turkey with the big turk."
tips for the traveling cannabis enthusiast include:
1. keeping your kinder surprise treats with your “stash” at home or next to your medicinal cannabis in your apothecary so as not to mistakenly pack them with your satchel of fda-approved candy that is not a national threat to america (and a lesser extent, chile. for reasons of luring the consumer loyalty of children and not for child safety, chile banned commercial “hooks” from food products containing high levels of sugar and fat.)
2. try to avoid buying kinder surprise treats in a spontaneous fashion. not only will you save money when you find a sale and stock up for when it’s all netflix and no chill, but you’ll also be less likely to forget you even bought the egg to begin with as you dance your way towards a detention cell of u.s. customs.
3. spend easter at home or travel to countries where children don't instinctively consume large, yellow, plastic containers.
be sure to check out my next blog post about the immutable list of “must try” snacks for visitors to the canadian cannabis recreational space. sure - you could be straight, clean, and sober and still enjoy these undeniably canadian treats but as with anything related to almost everything, why would you? (eg. "tolerance breaks")
if overconsumption is a concern, keep checking back for when we talk about how the cannabinoid “thc-v” actually suppresses hunger while still providing that euphoric feeling we all cite as our reason for being suspect of cbd. a wise host once said, “you don’t make friends with cbd” and was then quickly heard saying, "get the hell off my porch, faith healer!". true story.
trip down the rabbit hole with matchstick. we’re just getting started but rest assured, from here on in, the egg comes first.
(founder and creator, matchstick marijuana)
for cannabis musings and to stay up to date with questionably relevant information relating to navigating life in the cannabis space, be sure to subscribe to this blog, my vlog on youtube, “the cobb & unity” podcast, and the @matchstickmarijuana instagram account.