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A common myth says that drug dealers make drug-laced candies or pills and give them off to children outside schools.

For example,

Examples of the drug-mixing strategy also include candy laced with marijuana and, in several states, flavored methamphetamine. In Arkansas recently, a mix of meth and strawberry-flavored powder normally used to create a children's milk drink turned up under the name "Strawberry Quick."
-- source

But many many other examples can be found in TV series' "drug episodes", especially in the 70's and 80's TV family shows like "Eight is enough", "Family Ties" or "Different strokes".

Is there any recorded case of drug dealers pushing drugs outside schools and being successful on getting kids hooked? Is there any scientific basis at all? Or is it just "war on drugs" propaganda preying on parents' fears?

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    A drug dealer giving out "samplers" to a (high risk) target audience with no buying power would soon be put out of business, not considering attracting a lot of unwanted attention. – Zano Mar 26 '11 at 23:52
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    When I was a kid there was a guy who occasionally hung around the street at one of the elementary schools I went to -- he was known for giving away free things like candy or cigarettes. Most of us stayed away from him, but a few kids who regularly got into trouble with the police (and smoked) talked about getting cigarettes from him after school. In thinking back on this scenario, I wonder if this guy was either dealing drugs (and involving these kids somehow) or molesting children; it's certainly reasonable to assume that he wasn't there with good intentions. – Randolf Richardson Aug 17 '11 at 5:58
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+100

I did a quick Google search.

There is a 2007 snopes.com article about it, claiming that while there definitely is brightly colored meth, nobody official verifies the flavor, and there is no evidence it's intended for young children.

This ABC News article from 2007 provides testimony from a former meth user that meth can be flavored, but that drug rehabilitation centers in three states reported no reports of such meth. The idea that it was intended for young children is attributed to a law enforcement official, but no actual evidence is provided.

Looking at more articles, I find a complete lack of evidence, although a lot of suspicion, that the fancy drugs are marketed to young children. I found one case of a teenager using something like strawberry meth, but it's unclear to me if the teenager started on it.

Newspapers tend to present evidence if they have it, and I'm not finding it. I think that, if any drug dealer had been caught trying to sell this stuff to a young child, there'd be a mention in one of the articles. It's clear that colored and flavored meth exists, but the idea that it's targetted at young children seems speculative at best.

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    To be clear: the question is not specifically targeted at strawberry meth. :-) – Sklivvz Mar 26 '11 at 17:42
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    Then the cases of marijuana candy I found are also relevant, but the conclusion is unchanged. They exist, they are sold, but nobody's providing evidence that they're sold to young children. – David Thornley Mar 26 '11 at 17:44
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    Sure, Marijuana candies are readily available in shops in Amsterdam, but they are a joke on these allegation :-) – Sklivvz Mar 26 '11 at 18:08
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    Children have nothing BUT disposable income. They just don't have much. – fred Apr 12 '11 at 17:11
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    @justin cress: Children can provide delivery and pick-up services (think "drug mule") as an alternative form of payment. – Randolf Richardson Aug 17 '11 at 6:02

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