Candy drugs. Drugs that taste like candy. Anyone else see a problem?
Recently, producers of methamphetamines released a brand new version of their already popular product. They are going after a decidedly younger audience with new and improved flavors such as peanut butter, strawberry and chocolate.
And why shouldn’t they? It’s no different than marketing to adults, except that now the drugs taste better.
There is no moral argument that can be made against marketing already illegal drugs to kids. For one thing, they’re already illegal! There is no risk involved, no mental block about meth being taken off the
market by the FDA, no second thought about some company getting sued.
No worries there.
Drug dealers are also fully aware of the probable negative ramifications of their actions. They know what they are doing will undoubtedly cause harm in one form or another to their customers, yet they continue doing what they do to turn a profit. So obviously, hurting people is not an issue.
And as far as bringing this harm to the kids, why worry? Children are just another set of potential clients. The most important set, in fact, because they have the potential to continue the habit for much longer than, say, some 45-year-old looking for an escape from a short, meaningless life.
What kills me is that people act as if this is just the worst crime ever perpetrated on American soil. At least these drug dealers are being honest about their campaign. Because if you think this is the first time a potentially dangerous substance was marketed to young people, think again.
It’s not like these tactics haven’t been used before, and I’m not talking about the drug world. Producers of legal substances like alcohol and nicotine have been trying, and succeeding, for years to capture the attention of those too young to legally purchase their products.
The infamous cartoon character Joe Camel was banned from the marketing of Camel Cigarettes because of his strong visual appeal to minors. Does anyone out there actually believe he was meant for adults? Of course not, because this is a college campus and we are all reasonably intelligent.
Camel’s quest for the underage crowd still continues though. Since the ban of their icon, Camel has created a whole new marketing blitz designed to shovel their cancer sticks down kids’ throats, including lacing them with a chocolate-mint flavor during the holidays.
Alcohol producers have also done their part to sucker kids in.
Chocolaty alcoholic beverages reminiscent of Yoohoo bottles were removed from grocery store shelves within the last decade for their obvious appeal to the younger generation.
The only difference between those products and meth is that alcohol and tobacco are still legal and thus subject to FDA regulation and public scrutiny. But meth has already overcome both of those barriers in a single bound.
The drug world is just another industry clambering for a stake in that all-important demographic. Drug dealers aren’t the first to try this and they certainly won’t be the last.