In an effort to attract younger and younger clients, drug dealers are becoming more and more creative in their merchandising. Parents might want to keep track of what their kids are eating. Some of the rock candy, chocolate bars, pacifier lollipops, and gum balls might be laced with marijuana, meth or other illegal drugs.
The lollipops have been seen in Gila County.
In addition bracelets, necklaces and earrings that “ravers” wear may actually be coated with a liquid form of meth or be used to offset the grinding of teeth caused by ecstasy use.
Drug dealers know that in order to keep a strong sales base they have to attract kids before they reach 21 years of age. After that, if the kids aren’t already hooked, they are not as likely to get involved with using and abusing.
Along with the jewelry and candy, meth manufacturers are turning to flavored and colored products to lure in potential customers. Pink meth has been mixed with a strawberry flavored drink and is called “strawberry quick,” and blueberry colored meth is called “Smurf Dope.”
Other flavors being marketed include butter-flavored popcorn, cherry, watermelon, chocolate and Coca-Cola. By masking the chemical odor and taste with color and flavor it is easier to encourage younger teens to “try it.”
Manufacturers will continue to develop and use new marketing gimmicks.
The bottom line is no matter what it looks or tastes like, meth is a drug and still poison. Teens seem to think the flavored crystals are less harmful, but that just isn’t true.
The problem has become so widespread that Senators Charles Grassley and Dianne Feinstein have reintroduced a bill aimed at dealers and manufacturers who specifically target young people under the age of 21 with a controlled substance that is flavored, colored or packaged to be more appealing. If convicted, the penalties would be doubled.
While some journalistic concerns have doubted the existence of such drugs both purple and strawberry meth has been found in Gila County.
Internet references: San Diego 10 News, Street Trends, Join Together, USA Today, CBS NEWS and Reason on Line.
For questions or more information on the Gila County Meth Coalition, contact chair, Claudia DalMolin at the Gila County Sheriff’s Office, (928) 425-4440; co-chair, Bianca DalMolin, (928) 701-1790; facilitator, Misty Cisneros, (928) 425-1879; or media liaison Lu DuBois, (928) 425-4440.
Presented by the Gila County Meth Coalition