The Hershey Company has introduced a new powdered mint candy that is packaged to look like cocaine. I'd heard about this yesterday from a co-worker, but refused to believe it, until I read the article myself this morning. How could a long-standing trusted brand like Hershey do something this insane?
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why this is a horrible idea. Here are just a few:
- A child finds some blue packets on the street, in an alley, or on the playground at school. He or she assumes it's candy and "eats" it. The child subsequently (1) gets sick; (2) consumes enough to get addicted and starts doing who-knows-what in order to be able to get more; or (3) overdoses and dies. Who's ultimately responsible?
- Children start bringing blue packets to school. Teachers and administrators don't know if it's candy or crack. What should they do?
- The article states that police officers are already concerned about the impact on law-enforcement efforts. Because they can't tell the difference between the candy and a dime bag of cocaine, they will have to test all of the blue bags they find - not knowing whether it's candy or cocaine. Is this how our law enforcement officers should be utilizing their already limited resources?
- It's well-known that drug dealers often try to mix or replace drugs with common household products, some benign, some harmful. Imagine the number of additional drug-related deaths that are likely to result from drug deals gone bad over selling candy instead of crack. While I'm sure there are some that this would be good riddence, but many innocent people are harmed by drugs, sometimes just by being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
I'm not an activist and can't remember the last time I boycotted anything, but I'm boycotting all Hershey products until this candy is either removed from the market completely or re-packaged more appropriately. This is one of those times that I believe that consumers can truly make a difference, and for the sake of our children (and I mean that collectively - whether you've given birth to a child or not), we need to take a stand.
So, I'm asking that you do 3 things: (1) join me in boycotting Hershey products; (2) pass this information along to everyone you know; and (3) if you feel so inclined, send an e-mail to Hershey at their website.