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Meth for Kids!

Memphis has a lot of scary crime, and it's not hard to put together a reasonably factual television news report that makes our blighted little bluff town sound like something out of Frank Miller's Sin City. But for so many of our TV journalists, reporting the facts about bad guys and bloody murder just isn't good enough.

In recent times, Memphis viewers have been treated to a variety of titillating untruths ranging from manufactured scandals about cross-dressing high school students to freakish erotic fantasies about gangs of hyperviolent lesbians. This week, Fox 13's Jill Monier contributes to the growing catalog of unsubstantiated fear-mongering by passing along an urban myth about Strawberry Quik, an exciting, new kind of flavored methamphetamine intended for our precious children.

From Fox 13: "Strawberry, chocolate and cola, not soft drinks but a new version of meth aimed at children. The new meth is reportedly being found on the West Coast, but Memphis police are skeptical. ... Around Halloween, a 'strawberry meth' e-mail started popping up in inboxes, warning parents that candy-flavored meth was being passed out in Arkansas schoolyards. ... Some reports say drug-dealers are adding Strawberry Quik."

Snopes.com, the internet's ultimate resource for debunking urban myths, reports that while there are candy-colored, and perhaps scented, versions of the drug, there is no evidence that it's being distributed to children. There are no actual reports indicating that flavored meth is being handed out in schoolyards or that children are being rushed to emergency rooms because they mistook the colored meth for candy. Snopes describes these claims as a product of the original e-mailer's "imagination." Thanks to Fox, they are now, also, the meat and potatoes of an actual news segment.

Monier's report went on to note — factually, we suppose — that festive red and green meth would be available during the holiday season.

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