Senators Feinstein and Grassley Call for Increased Penalties for
Drug Dealers Who Market Candy-Flavored Drugs to Kids
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today introduced legislation to increase the federal criminal penalties for drug dealers who add flavorings or use marketing to make drugs more appealing to children.
“This legislation sends a strong and clear message to drug dealers – if you flavor or candy up your drugs to try and entice our children, there will be a very heavy price to pay,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein.
The Saving Kids from Dangerous Drugs Act would provide enhanced penalties when drug dealers alter or modify illegal drugs in ways that would make them more appealing to minors.
For years, law enforcement has reported that drug dealers are flavoring and marketing illegal drugs to entice minors, using techniques like combining drugs with chocolate and fruit flavors and even packaging them to look like actual candy and soda. In 2006, the Drug Enforcement Administration stopped one dealer who had packaged marijuana to look like legitimate products, including “Munchy Way” candy bars.
Drug dealers have also been arrested with other flavored drugs, including methamphetamine and cocaine.
“The fight against drugs is an ongoing struggle. Drug dealers are constantly changing tactics to make their products more appealing to young people. Candy flavored meth is just one of the latest crazes used by drug dealers to lure our kids into addiction,” Senator Chuck Grassley said. “It’s time to send a clear message to drug dealers that they risk serious prison time when they target our future.”
Under the legislation, enhanced penalties would apply when any adult knowingly manufactures a controlled substance that is:
1. Combined with a beverage or candy product;
2. Marketed or packaged to appear similar to a beverage or candy product, or;
3. Modified by flavoring or coloring the controlled substance with the intent to distribute, dispense or sell the controlled substance to a person under 18 years old.
Someone who alters a controlled substance in ways prohibited by the legislation would be subject to a penalty of up to 10 years, in addition to the penalty for the underlying offense. A second offense would be an additional penalty of up to 20 years.
“It’s appalling that drug dealers are trying to get children hooked on drugs with packaging and marketing ploys and it should be stopped,” added Feinstein.
A similar bill was passed by the Senate in the last Congress, but it was not considered by the House.