New “Strawberry Quick” candy crystal meth rumour explodes on Facebook
A warning about strawberry flavoured crystal meth for kids that looks and smells like “Pop Rocks” candy has exploded with a new viral life and is popping up every few minutes on Facebook.
The fresh iteration for the “Strawberry Quik Crystal Meth” alert has been moving across the globe rapidly in the last few days despite attempts by several hoax websites to shoot it down.
The highly credible Snopes.com did add a caution, however: The rumour first started in 2007 is false, but police have seized pink crystal meth that could look like candy.
So quickly has the rumour been circulating that arguments have broken out on Facebook and the Internet security website Sophos.com has weighed in to discredit it.
The most common post reads: “ALL PARENTS PLEASE BE AWARE!! . There is a drug going around the schools. it looks like popping candy that kids eat & also smells like strawberries & also comes in other flavours like chocolate ect (sic) . this drug that looks like popping candy is actually crystal meth rocked up with strawberry flavor & can kill them.”
Other versions have turned up on U.S. parenting blogs in the last few days but the Facebook message has moved through North America, France and Australia.
One version, dating to May 2007 when the hoax spread by email and turned into a news story, identified the warning as coming from Special Agent Todd V. Coleman of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Coleman told Urban Legends the email wasn’t from him, the website Hoax Slayer reported.
Police in Carson City, Nev. had originally reported that strawberry flavoured, sweetened crystal meth was being sold on the streets in January, 2007, but later admitted none had actually been found.
A few months after publishing a USA Today story quoting the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as confirming crystal meth in a dozen flavours had spread to nine states, the website drugfree.org admitted that: “Flavored meth is somewhat akin to the Loch Ness Monster: everyone has heard of it, but firsthand sightings are hard to track down and verify.”
The initial confusion, according to Snopes, appeared to be that hot pink crystal meth does exist but it’s not strawberry flavoured or sweetened and isn’t specifically marketed to children.
Nevertheless, police in Oxfordshire, England, sent warnings to 80 schools about Strawberry Quick, named for the powdered drink mix, before admitting they’d been duped, the BBC reported in 2008.
A Yahoo France group republished a Eurotox chart following the spread of the rumour by month and year back to December, 2004.
Hoax about crystal meth being marketed to kids has made the rounds before and still has not been verified.