A measure introduced by two U.S. senators would impose harsher penalties for drug dealers who provide candy-coated or flavored drugs to minors.
The "Saving Kids from Candy-Flavored Drugs Act" would impose a sentence of up to 10 years for the first offense and 20 years for the second offense, according to The Hill.
The bill would apply to anyone who manufactures, creates, distributes, dispenses or possesses candy-coated drugs with the intent to distribute them to a minor. It was introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Dianne Feinstein of California.
The U.S. Sentencing Commission last week discussed the issue of stronger penalties for distributing candy-flavored drugs, the article notes.
According to a news release from Senator Grassley's office, law enforcement reports that drug dealers frequently combine drugs with chocolate or fruit flavors or package the drugs to look like candy or soda to attract youth. "For example, there are reports of candy bracelets containing Ecstasy; gummy bears laced with Xanax; and candy laced with THC," the release notes.
"Lifelong addictions frequently begin when a person is young," Senator Feinstein. "That's why it's so important we do all that we can to keep drugs away from children. A big part of that is stopping drug dealers from altering drugs to increase their appeal. Many children may not realize that candied or flavored drugs are just as dangerous as unadulterated substances, putting them at greater risk of overdosing or developing an addiction. Increasing penalties for those who modify drugs to appeal to kids will deter this conduct and help stop the proliferation of these drugs."