Drug Dealers Capitalizing On Pokémon Go Craze With Pikachu-Shaped Ecstasy Pills

By McCarton Ackerman 07/19/16

The Dutch-made Pokémon-themed ecstasy pills are also reportedly laced with the drug 2CB.

Drug Dealers Capitalizing On Pokémon Go Craze With Pikachu-Shaped Ecstasy Pills

Everyone seems to be trying to catch Pokémon these days, as the Pokémon Go craze continues to reach astounding heights, but apparently drug dealers are now trying to cash in on the fad by selling ecstasy pills in the shape of Pokémon characters.

British tabloid The Mirror reported that the adorable illegal substances are being made in Dutch factories, laced with the drug 2C-B (a synthetic psychedelic) and then being distributed via the dark web. British drug dealers have allegedly been selling the Pokémon ecstasy, which are in the shape of the Pikachu character, for just £5 (or $6.63), while purchasing 50 "high-dose" pills in bulk for as little as £50 ($66.34) on the dark web.

However, the pills are far more dangerous than traditional ecstasy. Some of the pills contain 210 milligrams of ecstasy, above what is considered the recommended safe dosage. According to the website Erowid, a "normal" dose is typically between 75-125 milligrams of MDMA in a single pill.

“There are hundreds of thousands of these pills being pressed in Holland and Germany and shipped here,” an alleged "gang source" in the British city of Manchester told The Mirror. “Chances of them being intercepted­ are pretty slim. Sell them for a fiver a go and you make a wedge. There’s massive demand. Pills are back in a big way.”

The last time Pikachu's likeness was reportedly used for illegal substances was back in 2001, when authorities claimed they found PCP-laced pills that were meant to resemble the character. But this isn’t the only way that drug dealers have cashed in on pop culture, of course. In February, Chilean authorities confiscated 101 pills shaped like the Minions in the popular animated film Despicable Me. The drugs were found inside a kids’ drawing kit in the coastal city of Viña del Mar. Authorities who were part of the investigation believe that the drugs originated from the Netherlands.

And in January 2014, methamphetamine distributors reportedly began selling blue-colored meth in a nod to the series Breaking Bad. However, several reports of users becoming violently ill after taking it started to circulate since the drug was cut with chemicals specifically designed to make it blue. Local authorities also reported blue-covered meth in Kansas City, Missouri and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

That same month, Scotland found themselves reeling from several deaths due to “Pink Superman” pills, which featured a Superman logo on one side. Police reported that users experienced dangerous side effects due to the drugs, which contained para-Methoxyamphetamine, the drug also known as "Dr. Death," which normally gives a hallucinogenic amphetamine effect but can become very unpleasant for an unsuspecting user.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.