Circulating via email, a 'Halloween Warning' urges parents to instruct their children to beware of a new form of crystal meth that looks and smells like strawberry Pop Rocks candy and comes in other flavors such as chocolate, peanut butter, and cola.
Description: Forwarded email
Circulating since: Oct. 2007 (this version)
Status: False (see details below)
Email contributed by Marlene G., Oct. 12, 2007:
Subject: HALLOWEEN WARNING
HALLOWEEN WARNING PLEASE READ!!!!
There is a type of crystal meth going around that looks like strawberry pop rocks. It smells like strawberry also and it is being handed out to kids in school yards in AR. I'm sure it will make its way around the country. Kids are ingesting this thinking it is candy and being rushed off to the ER in dire condition.
It also comes in chocolate, peanut butter, cola, cherry, grape and orange. It looks just like pop rocks.
Please instruct children to not accept candy that looks like this even from a friend and to take any that they may have to a teacher, principal, etc.
Pass this around it could save some family a lot of heartache!
They call it strawberry meth or strawberry quick.
Special Agent Todd V. Coleman
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement
[Contact info deleted]
Analysis: I contacted Special Agent Todd V. Coleman of Homeland Security, whose signature appears on the above message, and asked him if he authored it. He said no. Like everyone else, he said, he received it as a forwarded message and made the mistake of passing it to a colleague for verification. Once sent, it was "forwarded a million times over and posted on MySpace with my info attached to it," Coleman wrote.
He added that he had since received "intel" to the effect that it isn't really true.
We've seen similar warnings before. Beginning in January 2007, drug enforcement officers in various parts of the U.S. began reporting sightings of pink, strawberry-flavored crystal meth during routine drug busts.
According to DEA public affairs officer Barbara Wetherell, however, as of October 2008 the agency has found zero evidence to substantiate that Strawberry Quick or any other form of flavored methamphetamine actually exists.
"This is an urban myth," she told Columbus Local News in a story published Oct. 31, 2008. "We surveyed all of our offices yesterday (Oct. 30) and we found nothing. This is just one of those emails."
Sources and further reading:
DEA: 'Strawberry Quick Meth' Story Is an Urban Legend
ColumbusLocalNews.com, 31 October 2008
Citizens Keeping an Eye out for Meth Looking Like Candy
Times-News (Twin Falls, ID), 16 October 2007
Grassley Q&A: Combatting Meth
Missouri Valley Times, 27 September 2007
DEA: Flavored Meth Use on the Rise
USA Today, 25 March 2007
Oregon Deputies Say They're Finding Fruit-Flavored Meth
KATU-TV News, 30 July 2007
'Candy' Meth Emerges in Bay Area
KPIX-TV News, 30 January 2007
Last updated: 10/31/08