[FONT=Arial,Helvetica] STREET DRUG PACKAGED AS KIDS' CANDY
It Looks Like Coloured Sugar In Straws But It's Crystal Meth, Sold To Youngsters
OKANAGAN - Ruthless Okanagan drug dealers are packaging crystal meth to look like the popular candy Pixy Stix to try to lure youngsters into addiction.
"They're using different colours, the pinks for the girls and the blues and greens for the boys," Staff-Sgt. Kurt Lozinski of South Okanagan RCMP said yesterday. "It looks like coloured sugar. I have only seen a little bit of it but I know it's out there more than we're seeing."
To try to ward off the threat, schools in the Penticton area have enrolled in a "no2meth" campaign to educate parents and kids on the dangers of the destructive drug.
Lozinski said Pixy Stix meth is the latest in a long line of tactics by dealers to get kids on drugs.
"Many years back, they were doing the same thing with acid designed to look like Bart Simpson," he said. "Then, with ecstasy, they were doing them in different colours and putting emblems on them like dolphins.
"It's the progression. They realize if they can target the youth, the kids, then they'll get repeat business for a longer period of time."
Crystal meth is a destructive drug that induces psychotic symptoms that resemble schizophrenia.
Lozinski, who is based in Osoyoos, said while crystal meth is continuing to grow steadily in popularity in the Okanagan, it's not yet the "epidemic" that's been reached in the U.S.
He said crack cocaine is the main "drug of choice" in the Penticton area, and police are seeing increasing numbers of kids taking ecstasy.
"Some of the kids have a misconception that ecstasy is a cleaner form of drug, whereas ecstasy is just a derivative of crystal meth," he said.
He said kids in the 12- to 14-year-old range are experimenting and see crystal meth as a method of weight control, which is "huge" among girls.
"Once you get addicted, it manifests in your body in other ways and then it's just a big spiral down," he said.
At $10 to $15 a gram, crystal meth is much cheaper than cocaine.
Larry Little, chairman of the Okanagan-Skaha School District, said cocaine and marijuana are still the "flavour of the month" in Penticton.
"When the government approached us about joining with the city in this 'no2meth' campaign, we wanted to work with our community to do something," he said.
Kids most likely to take drugs are those who have a tough home life and who pal around with older youths and adults who hang around schools preying on the more vulnerable children, he said.
Mark Tatchell, head of the B.C. government's crystal-meth secretariat, said the drug can be
presented in different forms and levels of purity "depending on the ingenuity of the crook who's preparing the product."
He said that while police have dismantled 30 labs in B.C. this year, crystal meth is already in schools.
"Are we concerned? Absolutely," he said. "Anyone who's in the business of producing illicit drugs is into the marketing schemes. They are in the business of selling the product into existing markets and generating new markets."[/FONT][FONT=Arial,Helvetica]
[/FONT]I like how it's assumed that Bart Simpson blotter and dolphin logos on E tabs et cetera are a nefarious attempt to get children hooked on drugs.
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