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Surprise! The ‘Candy-Colored Meth’ Myth Is Back

Chris Roberts

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This is the age of Trump.

Still smarting from the Bernie-Hillary infighting, which may have (translation: almost certainly) handed the reality-star the White House, leftists and liberals are dying for a political leader to coalesce the broad opposition to the president’s agenda—even die-hard conservatives hated Trump’s healthcare bill!—and hit back, hopefully saving working peoples’ plight while doing it. 

And this is the time when Democratic leaders like Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California’s senior senator and a former mayor of San Francisco—just the kind of person you’d expect to present a plan for turning the country around, or at least a vision—are worried about candy-flavored cocaine and methamphetamine.

On Tuesday, Feinstein and Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley introduced a bill in the Senate that would ratchet up penalties for “drug dealers who repackage illegal drugs to resemble or taste like candy so they’ll appeal to kids.”

As Radio Iowa reported, the pair issued a press release in which they announced a rise in “drugs [combined] with chocolate or fruit-flavors… to look like candy or soda for the sole purpose of attracting young people.” This would include “candy bracelets containing ecstasy, gummy bears laced with Xanax, and candy laced with THC,” they claimed.

Under the new bill, anyone making such a product with the intention of selling it to someone under 18 is eligible for an enhanced penalty of 10 to 20 years in prison tacked onto whatever other sentence they may face.

Now. That last clause, “candy laced with THC,” could describe almost all of the edible marijuana products available on the legal cannabis market, some of which—along with alcohol and cigarettes bought at stores—is absolutely making its way into schools. However, that’s not the main issue.

Here’s Grassley, who has a surefire grasp on what’s going on with drugs in America.

“They make marijuana into cookies or something like that, but meth is a specific one that’s a problem,” he said, according to Radio Iowa, “and you know how deadly meth is.”

Yes: It’s the amazing candy-colored, tangerine-flavored speedbar, baby, back at it again, for the fourth or fifth time.

About a decade ago, right around when Breaking Bad was in its early seasons, reports of brightly-colored or perhaps even flavored methamphetamine began surfacing from around the nation.

The “Protecting Kids From Candy-Flavored Drugs Act” is the second go-around for a federal law targeted at such meth, obviously cooked up with a bent at getting kids—kids! The children!—hooked on Mr. White’s blue. The DEA even offered a nickname for some reddish-colored meth they’d spotted in Nevada: “Strawberry Quick.”

Warnings like these were seized upon by the Texas state PTA and other excitable groups worried about the kids, except there was a problem—it was an urban legend.

As Reason reported in 2010, only once had the DEA seized anything resembling flavored meth, in this case crystal that had tiny specks of what could have been grape lollipop. As Snopes reported at the time, “there’s no credible evidence” that drug dealers are cooking up flavored or scented speed in order to hook kids.

That didn’t stop Feinstein or Grassley from introducing a bill to punish candy-colored crystal cooks in 2008. And in 2009. And in 2015.

Despite their colleagues grasping that this is simply untrue and letting their bill languish in committee, incredibly, in 2017, with Russian meddling in elections and Russian stooges in the higher echelons of government, with Trump’s people dismantling environmental protections and with working-class people crying out for informed leadership and real economic reform, the candy-flavored meth act is back. It’s insane. It’s ridiculous. It’s a bad joke.

And everyone knows it. And since this is 2017 and this is the internet, everyone was there to remind our credulous senators of reality.

Feinstein is right about something. There are candy-flavored amphetamines—except they’re legal.

Last year, the FDA approved for patients as young as six years old Adzenys, a chewable, fruit-flavored drug that contains the same active ingredients as Adderall, the popular, speed-like ADHD drug.

That sounds like a big deal. That might be something to spend political capital on. However, a search of Feinstein’s introduced legislation and public statements could reveal no problem with candy-like prescription meth.

To her credit, Feinstein has been a reliably Democratic senator in opposing Trump, reliably firing off press releases condemning the president’s more outrageous statements and less-constitutional executive orders, and opposing his most-controversial cabinet picks. OK! Acceptable!

Then again, Feinstein, who turns 84 on June 22 and has been in the Senate since 1992, is also the lone major California public official to oppose California’s marijuana legalization initiative.

Presenting a debunked issue as a legislative priority is not exactly inspiring the masses to coalesce behind this mainstream Democrat.

Not at all.

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