The public service announcement, a portion of which was aired on Fox News Friday morning, said that “by working together and being on high alert this Halloween, we can help put an end to the drug traffickers that are driving addiction.”
Halloween this year falls exactly 8 days before the November midterms, and what better way is there to drive home your tough-on-crime, war on drugs-electoral messaging than to convince parents that the cartels are in the house down the block and are handing out synthetic opioids to your kid?
“Rainbow fentanyl comes in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes, including pills powder and blocks that resemble sidewalk chalk,” said Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy. “Even just handling these pills or powders…can kill a person,” added Senator Steve Daines (R-Mon.), alluding to the myth that touching fentanyl can cause an overdose.
Nebraska Senator Deb Fisher warned that “according to the DEA, these pills are a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults.”
However, experts, who at this point are exasperated at the “poisoned Halloween candy” myth’s yearly resurgence, are again reiterating that drug dealers are not handing out narcotics to children en masse. In fact, the use of colors is typically a way for producers to distinguish their products from other manufacturers and to make them identifiable to existing consumers, not a way to market them to children. Mariah Francis, a Resource Associate with the National Harm Reduction Coalition, criticized the GOP lawmakers misrepresentation of the ways drugs circulate in communities. “Drug markets are based off profit gain and profit margins,” explained Francis. Drug dealers “are not making money giving free fentanyl tablets […] to small children.”