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Pushing Candy: When Kids’ Sweets Looked A Lot Like Drugs

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Is sugar a gateway drug? Or, to put it in more modern terms, are illegal highs a path to sugar?


drugs sweets


Let’s see how sweets were once sold to the kids.

Mary Jane




Manufacturer Necco still makes Mary Jane:

Through the years, countless school children learned about the midnight ride of Paul Revere. Those same kids would run out of school to the closest store and buy as many Mary Jane® candies as their pocket change would permit. Little did they know, the lesson they just learned and the delicious sweet they were about to unwrap had a common history.

Charles N. Miller first unveiled his peanut butter and molasses candy in 1914. Miller got his start by making candies with his father in their Boston home, a home whose previous owner happened to be Paul Revere. And coincidentally, today we make these favorite chews in the Massachusetts city of Revere!

Who can forget Paul Revere’s legendary observation: “The British are coming, man. Like, wow.”


Cold Turkey





A look for ‘Cold Turkey Candy’ on Google, cough ups ‘I went cold turkey on sugar: It’s a toxic addiction’, ‘What happened when I went cold turkey to give up sugar’ and ‘How I Quit Junk Food Cold Turkey’. In the needy second decade of the 21st century the anxious can pretend they live a far edgier life than they do by telling their therapist, “I’m going Cold Turkey. No KitKats for me.” You get the heroes you deserve.

In the 1930s, Cold Turkey was deelish mix of maple and walnuts.


Cancer Sticks

Be “just like dad” – only sooner.

just like dad





The Lucky Strike bubble gum came with a matchbook. With messages like “It’s terrific” and “I’m feel fine”, kids had no need to hide their real smokes inside a bubble gum wrapper. Smoking was good. Playing with matches was dandy. Why not blow smoke into your gum bubble and pop it when you need a fix?


Chewing Tobacco





Hippy Sippy


 “Hippy Sippy says I”ll try anything!” - 1960s

“Hippy Sippy says I”ll try anything!” – 1960s


Candy Wrapper Museum:

Hippy Sippy candy “syringe.” Perhaps the most inappropriate candy of all time, it was released in 1968 by R. L. Albert. Each syringe came with one of ten groovy pins with slogans like “I’ll Try Anything” and “Sock It To Me, Baby.” It was met with swift and loud protest by outraged parents and was soon removed from shelves. Due to this, it’s ultra-rare today.

Hippy Sippy came with slogans.




It was controversial:

The “big story” dealt with protests voiced by parents and town officials over the sale to children of tiny, round chocolate candies that come in containers resembling hypodermic needles and syringes with such slogans as “Hippy Sippy,” “Happiness Lives” and “Love.”(The product is manufactured in Japan and sold in the United States by a reputable, highly ethical, well known importer, who incidentally has withdrawn it from the market.)


We wish we could laugh. But whether we like it or not, it really isn’t funny at all. Right or wrong, this is the kind of negative PR that will not only hurt the seller of the not too important product, but the entire candy industry. In many ways this item has its share of irony. For some reason, the same type of product marketed by the toy field would hardly cause a ripple. – Candy and snack industry: Volume 131 1968


Heavenly Hash





You can still buy Hash Eggs:

In 1855 in New Orleans, Christopher Henry Miller turned his pastry chef experience into the Miller Candy Corporation. His son-in-law, Augustus Elmer, eventually joined him. And around the turn of the century, the company’s name was changed to Elmer-Miller. In 1914, Elmer’s sons signed on to what is now known as Elmer Candy Corporation.

Elmer Candy soon increased its national presence by adding several new factories and introducing a wide variety of confections and snacks—some of which are still favorites today: Heavenly Hash Eggs (1923) and Gold Brick® Eggs (1936).


Goof Balls







1940s -'Whiz-z-z-z, the best nickel candy there iz-z-z-z' Via

1940s -‘Whiz-z-z-z, the best nickel candy there iz-z-z-z’



Candy Shooter

And finally, should the Cold Turkey not work out and you yield to sugar, stick a gun in your mouth and press the trigger:


1965 - Pez

1965 – Pez



Hey, kids, Heide Juicyfruits commands you to ‘SAY NO TO DRUGS’…




…because you have only enough pocket money for sugar. But – take care!  – that narcotic can damage your teeth! But help is at hand:


cocaine legal