Texas PTA Blames Texas Crime Stoppers for 'Strawberry Quick' Panic

A few weeks ago, I noted that the Texas PTA was excitedly passing along rumors about "strawberry meth" that had been debunked by (among others) Snopes.com, the drug policy organization Join Together, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. In addition to explaining this online, I emailed the relevant links to the local PTA officer who had sent me the warning. Today she sent me the following "Correction re Strawberry Quick Methamphetamines":

Texas PTA works closely with Texas Crime Stoppers and Attorney General Greg Abbott. In December, at the request of Texas Crime Stoppers, Texas PTA released information about "strawberry quick," which generated several questions. As a result, Texas PTA consulted with Texas Crime Stoppers about your questions, and officials at Texas Crime Stoppers wrote an apology to Texas PTA with a correction found below.

Texas Crime Stoppers Response Concerning Strawberry Quick 
A Texas Crime Stoppers internal investigation of a methamphetamine-laced drug being marketed to school age children in Texas called "strawberry quick" has found that it does not exist in Texas. Dr. Jane Maxwell, with the Gulf Coast Addiction Technology Transfer Center, University of Texas at Austin was consulted on the existence of "strawberry quick." She replied to this staffer that "strawberry-quick is a myth, and an urban legend." This office regrets the passing of information to our friends at the Texas PTA without investigating the validity of the information sent to us from a Juvenile Probation office in Central Texas....

Rumors about new drugs or drugs targeted to children can occur in this field, but the fact that "strawberry quick" is not present in Texas in no way invalidates the urge to caution and to be fully aware regarding drug and alcohol promotion or usage amongst our Texas children. Forewarned is forearmed.

In short, after trying to stir up a panic about an urban legend, the Texas PTA blames Texas Crime Stoppers, which in turn blames a juvenile probation office in Central Texas. That's a nice example to set for the kids: When you're caught prevaricating, shift the responsibility to someone else.

A quick visit to Snopes.com or a  cursory Web search would have turned up skeptical treatments of this story (including mine). Even if no one at the Texas PTA or Texas Crime Stoppers has Internet access (unlikely, since they use the Internet to spread anti-drug hysteria), the tale told in the "Strawberry Quick" alert has the earmarks of an urban legend: lack of detail (children supposedly were rushed to the hospital after ingesting meth they mistook for candy, but we're not told when, where, or to whom this happened); implausibility (why flavor a drug that is typically snorted or smoked, let alone offer it in "chocolate, peanut butter, cola, cherry, grape and orange" as well as strawberry?); similarity to other urban legends (such as the old one about poisoned Halloween candy); and the closing admonition to "pass this email on to as many people as you can."

Note that Texas Crime Stoppers, even as it admits the story is a "myth," is still trying to salvage it by saying that "'strawberry quick' is not present in Texas," which implies that it might be a problem elsewhere. The 2007 Fox News story that the Texas PTA cited in its alert likewise said, "While Strawberry Quick hasn’t made a big splash in Dallas, it is gaining ground in other [unspecified] parts of the country."

Crying "Strawberry Meth!" may not invalidate "the urge to caution and to be fully aware regarding drug and alcohol promotion or usage amongst our Texas children." But it does put parents on notice that they should not believe anything these organizations say about drugs, since they are so ready to trumpet any scary rumor they hear on this subject without considering its plausibility or making even a rudimentary effort to verify it. Forewarned is forearmed.

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  • ||

    In other news, drivers are advised to be on the lookout for unicorns on the roads, as collisions with them can cause serious damage to the vehicle and may possibly be deadly.

  • ||

    "I'm impaled on it's magical horn sticking through the windshield, but the euphoria and unending love for our masters from it cancels out all the crushing pain!"

  • ed||

    Unicorns, hell. I fear the gang member who will turn around and kill me if I flash my high beams at his car.

  • Solanum||

    Don't worry, the serial killer hiding in your backseat will kill you first.

  • dfd||

    Or will that guy only drug you to steal a kidney before leaving you in a bathtub of ice?

  • Medic001||

    or stepping on a crack, will break your mothers back...

  • CTHORM@IBIS||

    Don't worry. Unicorns aren't present in Texas...yet.

  • Brett L||

    So no hunting season?

  • ||

    As a non-native species, they can be hunted 24/7/365.

  • T||

    Do I have to claim they're causing "damage or depradation" like I do with feral hogs? Or can I just blast the horny bastards?

  • ||

    Actually, in Florida, wild hogs are considered livestock and therefore belong the property owner. No other justifcation in needed, the property owner can dispose of them, or not, as he sees fit.

    It is the fact that they are considered livestock rather than wild animals that makes them excempt from any game seasons.

    Mind you, there are other wild animals that have no closed season in Florida. Coyotes and rabbits come to mind. But you still need a hunting licence, unless you are hunting on your own homestead property.

  • ||

    But then, a common complaint in Florida is, "Why do they call it TOURIST SEASON, when we're not allowed to shoot them?

  • ||

    Holy crap! Free pigs?! I might have to consider moving to florida now.

  • Warty||

    There's no such thing as trolls.

    Then how do you explain the dead unicorns?

  • hmm||

    No alt text on the bunny. Color me disappointed.

  • Tonio||

    "But it could happen..."

    Pwned

  • ||

    Silly Rabbit! Quick is for kids!

  • Thelonious_Nick||

    I've never cared to try meth before but this sounds delicious.

  • ||

    I missed out on the pumpkin pie and egg nogs flavors that they were passing out during the holidays.

  • Not To Be A Dick, But||

    But we are only two months away from Shamrock Meth being available.

  • ||

    Mmmm...Shamrock Meth. "It's magically delicious!"

  • ||

    And it tastes like mint.

    "Nah chief, your brain just makes you think it tastes like mint cause its green"

  • ||

    A quick visit to Snopes.com or a cursory Web search would have turned up skeptical treatments of this story.

    True. Though, sadly, a quick visit to Snopes.com would also turn up a skeptical treatment of the CPSIA that declares worries about it as "FALSE."

  • ||

    Snopes has a decidedly Leftist slant. They often claim "False" or "True" and then refute their very claim in the explanation.

    A while back they refuted as "False" the claim that Senators and Congressmen could opt out of SS. In the same article they admit that the Senate can indeed place up to 40% IIRC of their FICA payments into a separate fund, that, you guessed it, actually pays a return. So while they technically couldn't opt out 100% they could opt out into an actual, interest earning fund.

  • anonymous||

    It declares a specific worry about the CPSIA, circulating in emails, as false, and provides evidence to back up their claim, while adding a caveat at the end that might explain how the claim originated.

    What, precisely, is the problem with that link? Is there some counter evidence that would suggest the "myth" at the top of the page is actually true, sometimes?

  • robc||

    There are other "myths" that are literally true but not true in spirit that they have marked as yellow ball. This one should have been yellow, not red. Snopes does a much better job when politics isnt involved.

  • ||

    "...since they are so ready to trumpet any scary rumor they hear on this subject without considering its plausibility or making even a rudimentary effort to verify it. "

    That describes Congress to a tee.

  • ||

    Fuck the PTA and every damn fool member who thinks the organization would side with their kids before the teacher's unions.

  • Paul||

    is still trying to salvage it by saying that "'strawberry quick' is not present in Texas,

    That was the first thing I noticed when I read their response. "Well, it's not present here".

  • Some Guy||

    So what has the Texas PTA been flavoring their drugs with?

  • ||

    The marketing slogan? Strawberry Meth Forever.

  • kinnath||

    Penny Lines on the flip slide.

  • ||

    That you, Pootie Tang?

  • Rimfax||

    Win.

  • Rich||

    Don't Meth With Texas.

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    Don't Meth With Tekthath.

  • ||

    the fact that "strawberry quick" is not present in Texas in no way invalidates the urge to caution and to be fully aware regarding drug and alcohol promotion or usage amongst our Texas children. Forewarned is forearmed.

    "Okay, so I lied; it's for your own good. It could happen. Like, there was this movie, one time, and something happened in it that would be like totally scary if it happened to you."

  • Dan Rather||

    The documents were fake, but their content was accurate.

  • Popeye the Sailor Man||

    "Forewarned is forearmed."

    Well blow me down!

  • Kryton||

    What about cake?

  • ||

    Cake is a lie as well. where have you been?

  • Kryton||

    Yep, it's a "made up drug". That moron David Amess brought it up in parliament though. It'd be cool if American satirists were smart enough to emulate Brass eye.

  • ||

    Maybe they should worry about crushed aspirin flavored milk more than they should worry about strawberry milk flavored drugs.

  • Michael||

    Rumors about new drugs or drugs targeted to children can occur in this field, but the fact that "strawberry quick" is not present in Texas in no way invalidates the urge to caution and to be fully aware regarding drug and alcohol promotion or usage amongst our Texas children.

  • Rimfax||

    The whole idea that candy-flavored drugs must be intended for kids shows a stunning ignorance of drug culture. Try explaining this logic to the guy selling wacky lollipops at the over-21 music festival or to the candy girl at the dance club.

  • T||

    After all, no stoner ever got high and ate the whole damn bag of mini-snickers bars I was going to hand out on Halloween. That's never happened.

  • ||

    Whoa there, folks. In the Texas PTA's defense, they were asked by the Dept. of Public Safety to distribute information. By the TEXAS DEPT OF PUBLIC SAFETY. I think it is reasonable to conclude that if the state's law enforcement agency asks you to pass along information, you assume they're telling you accurate information. That is reasonable.

    And Jacob, it's beneath you to throw out the lazy-minded comment about an organization "trumpeting every scary rumor." That's not REASON at work. That's prejudice. And it's stupid. Work on it.

  • somedude||

    Actually I remember pink meth back in the 90's. It was called "pink champagne." A quick google search reveals other have had the same stuff. Maybe this is what they are talking about?

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