Are Lazy Cakes Like Hash Brownies For Kids?

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Brownies laced with the sleep aid melatonin are causing a big debate among public health officials and politicians. And parents are a little weirded out, as well.

Lazy Cakes are intended for adults, but many people are taking issue with the kid-friendly packaging that features a cartoon brownie named Lazy Larry. (Although I can’t help but notice Larry’s drugged-out smile, you better believe that my 5-year-old would go nuts for his Sponge Bob-esque features.)

Each brownie contains 8 milligrams of melatonin, an over-the-counter relaxant traditionally sold in supplement form. Normally, a 1-2 milligram dose is recommended, and 5-6 milligrams is usually enough to induce sleep, according to an article in Food Safety News. (In Europe, the common melatonin prescription for adults is .03 milligrams.) They’re sold online and at places like 7-Eleven, Walgreens and health food stores.

In Fall River and New Bedford, both in Massachusetts, mayors are calling for the product to be banned because they say that the packaging is clearly marketed to children. And in Arkansas, the Department of Health is recalling all Lazy Cakes because the product contains melatonin, which has not been approved for general food use.

Visit the company’s Facebook page and you’ll find 26,000-plus fans who appear to be stressed out, sleep-deprived 20-somethings – or stoner-types looking for a quick fix. But apparently the treats will do little more than put you to sleep.