Rumor: Drug dealers selling strawberry-flavored meth to kids

An alleged note written by a doctor claims there is a new drug called Strawberry Quick that is being targeted to children “all over the country.”

FALSE: Letter claiming drug dealers are selling kids colored, flavored meth is a hoax

The warning, circling on Facebook and other sites, comes from what looks like a reputable source. “ALL PARENTS PLEASE BE AWARE!!” screams what appears to be a note written by a doctor in Jacksonville, Indiana. The note says that there's a new drug called Strawberry Quick, a type of methamphetamine manufactured to look and taste like the candy Pop Rocks. Only its deadly and being distributed to kids “all over the country.”

For some already neurotic parents, this is the type of e-mail attachment that confirms all the worst fears. Not only do parents have to protect their children from drug dealers, now they have to protect them from drug dealers with flavor-additive skills? Only they don't, because the whole thing is a hoax.

As Snopes points out, some meth does look like candy. But as any “Breaking Bad” fan can tell you, that's just an incidental result of the manufacturing process. There is no evidence that any drug dealer in America is actually targeting children with meth meant to taste sweet. Because while drug dealers may be morally compromised, they're less likely to market their product to an audience with no disposable income.

The DEA and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy have both teamed up multiple times to denounce the rumors. Even the Tom McNamara, the chief drug guy in Southern Indiana where the note originated, has given his thoughts on the matter. “We've had that forever,” he said of colored meth, “The warnings are well-intended, but they have no substance.”

But a rumor with no substance is still a chance to score a political point. Which is why, in 2007, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Grassley introduced legislation to add extra time to the sentences of any meth dealer caught marketing candy-flavored meth to children. Turns out yelling “Won't someone please think of the children!” is actually a more effective campaign strategy than gathering facts.

 

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