How McDonald's Original Coffee Stirrer Was A Central Character In The 'War On Drugs'

How McDonald's Original Coffee Stirrer Was A Central Character In The 'War On Drugs'

The ever-so-slightly older among us may remember those old branded McDonald’s coffee stirrers that just quietly disappeared one day and left many wondering if they’d hallucinated it ever being a thing. Rest assured, anyone thinking that time might’ve played a cruel trick on their memories, for it was very real.

Turns out, people with a love for drugs took one look at these spoons and realized it’d make a great addition to their drug paraphernalia. This idea was an absolute hit, with certain cities cited as spots where you could call up your drug dealer and order a “McSpoon” with your cocaine perfectly packaged inside the scoop for a Snort-’n’-Go experience. PCP users also jumped on the bandwagon, because of course they did.

Chicago Tribune

And don’t think for a second that this was some street trend — the rich were having soirees in their lofts with platters of white lines and McDonald’s spoons going around because even people with money can be tacky goddamnit. After all, the ‘70s was regarded as the golden age of cocaine, with Nixon’s War on Drugs literally causing more people to partake in some nose-powdering, and these coffee stirrers from the fast-food clown chain seemed to be universal enough to go along for the ride.

Sign up for the Cracked Newsletter

Get the best of Cracked sent directly to your inbox!

That is, until 1979 when the newly-founded DEA proposed the Model Drug Paraphernalia Act that saw pretty much anything and everything in your home turned into a suspicious and potential tool for drugs. During a hearing held by none other than then-Senator Joe Biden where people from the Paraphernalia Trade Association got the chance to voice their concerns, one PTA member attempted to mock the proposed law by holding up a McDonald’s coffee stirrer and saying that even it could be said to facilitate users of cocaine. Oof, not the best example, buddy. The anti-drug campaigners managed to do better research and soon discovered that, yes, it was most definitely used by drug consumers on a large scale, resulting in the most facepalm “gotcha” moment from that time. 

McDonald’s was reluctant to discontinue their spoons at first, but the old “Think of the children!” pleas from anti-drugs folks soon led to them replacing the spoons with flat-bottomed ones. The remaining originals were sent to McDonald’s chains in other countries...where it was used for the same purposes because when we said this was a universal drug tool, we weren’t kidding. Seriously, these spoons were so popular because they could hold exactly 100 milligrams, making them the perfect measuring tool for everything from coke to heroin. 

So yes, credit McDonald’s for creating the most efficient drug paraphernalia in modern history, all because people want their coffee on the go.

Follow Zanandi on Twitter.

Top Image: Erik Mclean/Unsplash


Scroll down for the next article


Forgot Password?