April 1, 2011, Washington, D.C. – FPress International – In a move that threatens to undermine the spreading trend to legalize marijuana, Idaho took the lead in drafting a bill to criminalize chocolate. The law, if passed, would place severe limits on the sale or possession of any solid or drinking chocolate in the state. Authors of the bill cite undisputed reports in scientific journals documenting that chocolate contains a multitude of psychoactive compounds. Among these is anandamine, a molecule also found in marijuana, albeit in much larger quantities [1,2,3].
Mildred Blancofacia (Idaho), co-author of the bill explains: “Tolerance of hedonism in this country is out of control. It only makes sense at this time to enforce a prohibition on chocolate in any form so that our citizens can focus more on hard work and family values.” Some chocolate sales would still be allowed for those who have a medical need or for external use such as in spa treatments: “We’ve made a provision in the law to allow limited chocolate sales to people with certain conditions, but only at state-run cocoa dispensaries.”
Chocolate advocacy groups are already starting to organize against the new legislation. Mary J. Lunavahker, co-chair of Mothers For Chocolate, MoFoCho, sees the bills as regressive: “You know the government is going to just hand out over-roasted cocoa beans diluted with vegetable oil, artificial vanilla and extra sugar. We want our single-origin artisan chocolate and we will fight for it! Besides, this is just a way for the states to make money taxing chocolate at a time when prices for cacao beans are going through the roof.” Opponents of the bill also point out that chocolate is widely thought to provide broad health benefits when eaten in moderation. Lunavahker continues: “Any move to ban it would compromise the health of our nation.”
Plans are already underway to monitor chocolate sales at the federal level. According to Chester Wilson of the DEA, “Distribution of these substances will be strictly controlled.” So far no violence has resulted over the issue, but federal authorities are concerned about what will happen when supply is shut off. Wilson explains: “Idaho is a big state and most people are not going to drive to Canada or Nevada to get their fill. We fully expect smuggling routes and mobile chocolate labs to become active within weeks.”
Four other states are expected to quickly follow suit to institute chocolate bans including Kansas and Alabama.
 Di Tomaso, E., M. Beltramo, and D. Piomelli (1996) Brain cannabinoids in chocolate. Nature 382:677-678.