Ecstasy Candy Hearts? I doubt it.

February 28, 2011 at 9:25 am 3 comments

What does this look like to you? Valentines candy? Or the party drug Ecstasy?

A report surfaced in Canada last week of a stash of the substance depicted above seized during a drug bust. The perps had been under surveillance for a while, and were hauled in on posession and distribution charges. They definitely had drugs: a half-pound of cocaine and “a quantity” of Ecstasy. But it seems they also had some of the motto candy hearts most commonly found in kids’ Valentine cards.

The report is extremely vague on how the presence of these candies led the police to conclude that the candy was actually drugs. It just states: “The ecstasy was in the form of a popular kids candy.” The photo of the bust items, however, clearly shows bags of pills along with the candy. Did the police taste or test the candy? Or is candy in a drug dealer’s kitchen just automatically suspect.

So the alarm is out: drug pushers are endangering children with candy-shaped pills. Citizens responded with appropriate panic:

I have candy that look exactly like this on top of my fridge right now. These people need to be put away for a long, long time.

Esctasy may not be highly addictive, if in fact you know what you are talking about there. But a child getting their hands on two or three of these and eating them thinking they are candy could really put them in harms way, this could very even lead to death.

I have a young son who has eaten candy hearts that looked like this. We need judges who will make examples with stiffer jail terms for these low lives. People who disguise kids candies as drugs need to be put on a firing range. I would have no problem watching these scum bags gasp for their last breath.

Well, you get the general idea (these are comments from the news report on the web site of The Telegram, link below). With no substantiation, and a highly unlikely premise, this news story stirs the pot. The image of children lured down the path with candy is too powerful to question.

But in fact, the story gives no evidence at all that these hearts are Ecstasy. And as many commentators point out, Ecstasy tastes terrible, and chewing it in candy form is not going to be a pleasant experience (disclaimer: I have not investigated this personally, I’m just going on the comments). The kicker for me is the image of the candy itself: are we seriously meant to believe that a drug dealing couple in St. John, Canada, has gone to the considerable effort and expense of setting up a whole candy manufacturing operation to make these drug hearts? Because folks, you can’t just make these at home. And yet, the news report is presented with a totally straight face. Out of 40 comments on the Telegram story, only 2 actually question the premise that the hearts hide drugs.

Most people find it easy to believe that drug pushers are hiding their wares in candy. This is just the mirror image of our long-standing and deeply held suspicion of candy itself: it’s easy to believe that what looks like innocent candy is really a potent drug.

Images from the Telegram story, credited to Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Entry filed under: Current Candy News, Myth Busting. Tags: , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tampa Bay Food Monster  |  March 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    excellent post. people aren’t too keen to ask questions or think too hard about such things when they are posted by something that resembles an authority. which is troubling, because anyone can post anything on the internet, and things can go viral so quickly that there’s no time for anyone to ask for fact checking or for people to take a second look. even if there is a retraction or addendum, by that point people will no longer be interested, and all that will stick with them is their initial outrage or whatever emotional response they had, directed at whatever the “news” source chose to vilify.

    • 2. Candy Professor  |  March 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      My sentiments exactly. And it’s not just questionable internet sites; this report appeared in a major Canadian newspaper and on CBC tv stations. I’ll add this post to “myth busters.”

  • 3. Synesthesia  |  October 16, 2011 at 7:35 am

    i dont doubt that the hearts in that photo were ecstasy, however, i dont think that they were “hiding” a dose of the drug in the popular valentine’s day candy. ive personally seen various ecstasy tablets- ones with a versace face on it, ones with a chanel logo, and, even ones shaped like a heart (no conversation heart-like text on them though), so anything is possible. people who produce these pills tend to get very creative (they essentially create a “brand” by making pills with different colors, designs, and shapes). i really don’t understand the mentaility that because something is colorful and pretty, it is undeniably meant to be marketed towards children. im sure that was far from the dealer’s mind when creating these…not that i’m condoning drug use, but people blow things WAY out of proportion!


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