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Methamphetamine: Grassley, Feinstein Reintroduce Candy-Flavored Meth Bill, Despite Little Evidence the Stuff Even Exists

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #569)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

A year and a half ago, word started spreading from isolated law enforcement sources that candy-flavored methamphetamine was showing up in drug busts. Seeing a new, candy-flavored drug bogeyman just around the corner and an opportunity to look tough on drugs, Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) quickly responded with the Saving Kids From Dangerous Drugs Act, which would increase the penalties for dealers peddling flavored meth to any buyers to match those for dealers who actually sold drugs to kids.

strawberry-flavored meth, or just colored meth?
That bill went nowhere in 2007 or last year, and the candy-flavored meth story was quickly debunked by, among others, Join Together's Bob Curley, who penned Meth Ado About Nothing? in June 2007, and the urban myth web site, which addressed the issue at about the same time. Both articles suggested authorities may have mistakenly attributed flavors to meth that was merely colored.

Despite horrified warnings from different law enforcement sources and hysterical reporting by various local media outlets around the country, nobody ever seemed able to actually come up with any candy-flavored meth, let alone any nefarious schemes to entice kids with sweetened drugs in an effort to crack the pre-pubescent meth market. Still, the threat of candy-flavored meth continues to surface periodically, although not for the past few months. Most recently, the (false) alarm was sounded in Florida in February and Southwest Virginia in March.

The lack of evidence for any real problem with candy-flavored meth hasn't stopped the drug-fightin' senatorial duo, though. In a Monday press release, Grassley announced that he and Feinstein were reintroducing the Saving Kids From Dangerous Drugs Act. It was as if the debunking of the myth had never occurred.

"The candy-flavored meth bill comes after reports detailing the growing trend of candy-flavored meth," the press release breathlessly, if belatedly, warned. "According to law enforcement officers and drug treatment officials, methamphetamine and other illegal drugs are being colored, packaged and flavored in ways designed to attract children and minors."

"It's disturbing that drug dealers are trying to lure teens and young kids by flavoring drugs to taste like candy. This latest craze needs to be dealt with before it's too late," Grassley said. "We've also got to make sure our law enforcement has the tools they need to adequately enforce the laws we pass. The legislation that Senator Feinstein and I have introduced should make drug dealers think twice about selling candy flavored drugs to our kids and help law enforcement keep the Combat Meth Act effective."

Under federal law, anyone who sells drugs to someone under 21 faces a mandatory minimum one-year prison sentence and a sentencing enhancement that doubles the sentence, or triples it for a repeat offense. Under the Feinstein-Grassley bill, the same penalty would also apply to anyone who "manufactures, creates, distributes, or possesses with intent to distribute a controlled substance that is flavored, colored, packaged or otherwise altered in a way that is designed to make it more appealing to a person under 21 years of age, or who attempts or conspires to do so."

In addition to addressing a problem that doesn't exist, the bill is written so vaguely as to apply to all kinds of illicit drug packaging. Would an ecstasy tablet stamped with a cartoon image qualify? How about heroin packaged under cute names? How about marijuana in a baggie with a smiley face sticker? For answers, you will have to consult your local federal prosecutor. Or, if there is any sense in Washington, this bill will meet the same ignominious fate as its predecessor and be assigned to the dustbin of history.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

the Grassley-Feinstein bill would seem to make possession of pot brownies a more serious felony...since eating marijuana is easier/more effective for some medical patients than smoking/vaporizing it, and a stronger/more long term "trip" for recreational users, this could affect marijuana users much more than meth cooks...

Fri, 01/23/2009 - 1:42pm Permalink
consfearacy (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)


feinstein and her husband the defense contractor millionaire are proceeding as usual. defense contractors and law enforcement go hand in hand. what`s grassley`s motive? feinstein looks out for the cali. prison industrial complex that is helping to sink the ca. economy. the more the drug war drains state budgets, the more money they need from the feds. chasing the dragon. business as usual in washington.

Fri, 01/23/2009 - 8:07pm Permalink
mlang52 (not verified)

Just another in the long line of stupid waste of our money?! Sure, lets continue to waste million on things like this! The representatives have to prove, to us, they are doing something! ------ NOT!

They would not have to be concerned about this if the drug laws really worked! This type of thinking will just continue to make drugs easier for kids to obtain! And, as it was pointed out, it is, highly likely, an urban myth, anyway!

In my experience, things like pseudoepherine, have had a bitter taste, if the covering dissolved. Processing it to "candy flavored Meth" would be next to impossible. And, the colors can vary according to what the idiot, cooking it, might use to create his poison. But, I can just about bet it would, still, be very bitter. That is why they added certain things to kid's meds, in the past. It kept them from taking it. They would spit the awful tasting stuff out immediately. Remember the song "A Spoonful of Sugar"?

Sun, 01/25/2009 - 1:43pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

All this is doing is putting more ideas in the kids of america minds. The main problem with this War on Drugs is that the "war" is putting drugs in the spot light. I wouldn't have experimented with drugs as a teenager if they didn't make such a big deal about how bad it was for me. In my (and many other teens) mind, "if they are making such a big deal about how I shouldn't do this, it must rock to be on these drugs..." and the hunt for drugs was on. Now teens and anyone that likes this type of product are going to be looking for this candy flavored meth. So now someone is going to figure a way to give it to them.

In my oppinion, If they just legalized Marijuana in the 70's like Carter tried to do, there would have been no need to come up with the more dangerous drugs; Crack, Meth, "X".

Fri, 01/23/2009 - 5:41pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I've had to put up with this witch as a Senator for years, constantly voting for her op poser. Since she's so hot to trot with this new action, I call upon her, as a constituent, to produce the certifiable scientific proof, none of which is signed off by some drug-money hungry LEO!!

Sun, 01/25/2009 - 1:39pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I've been told by semi-relyable peeps; Some crank stays red even after you try to wash out the transmission fluid with ether or methanol. They never said better living thru chemisty worked for dangerous drugs. Candy flavored meth is a myth.
Nothing more or less.

These nutbags would try to outlaw soap if they knew what a rush you get when you put a bar of it in your keister.

Go ahead try it Chucky. Soap Poking! The next dangerous drug: Bar soap!

Irish Spring.. Start with the personal size.... Things do get boring out there on the great plains in the winter. Please stop taking it out on the American public with such crazy attempts to legislate boogy man "anti-drug"shit.

Uncle Buster

Mon, 01/26/2009 - 11:56pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)


Wed, 02/18/2009 - 11:27am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

This myth may have it's base in the Far East. In Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Burma meth is formed, packaged and in some cases even flavoured to imitate multi-vitamin tablets (and goes under the street names vitamin or witamin). It is not the intention to make it more attractive to kids but rather to disguise it for ease of hiding it.

Mon, 03/16/2009 - 12:23pm Permalink

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