WASHINGTON - June 18, 2010 - The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved a measure sponsored by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) that would increase federal criminal penalties for drug dealers who entice children with candy-flavored methamphetamine, marijuana and other dangerous drugs.

According to law enforcement officers and drug treatment officials, methamphetamine and other illegal drugs are being colored, packaged and flavored in ways designed to attract children and minors.  Some have child-friendly names like Pot Tarts - named after the popular Pop-Tarts snacks.

"This bill sends a strong and clear message to drug dealers - if you target our children by peddling candy-flavored drugs, there will be a heavy price to pay," Feinstein said. "The legislation increases criminal penalties for anyone who markets candy-flavored drugs in an effort to hook our young people.  New techniques and gimmicks to lure our kids into addiction are around every corner.  We must do everything we can to end the practice of purposely altering illegal drugs to make them more appealing to our youth."

"Drug dealers who target children by flavoring drugs to taste like candy have sunk to a new low.  These dealers need to know that when you prey on our youth, you risk serious prison time.  This legislation should make drug dealers think twice about selling candy flavored drugs to our kids," Grassley said.

The bill also has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police and the National Narcotics Officers` Associations` Coalition.