S.A.M Weed News Roundup! What’s REALLY Going On!

SANews Roundup
July 2019
Here is a brief rundown of marijuana news as well as an update on what we have been up to over the last month.

Rejection of Commercial Weed Biggest Blow Yet to Big Marijuana

Despite massive spending and lobbying by Big Marijuana and its allies, the New York State Legislature rejected commercial marijuana. This is a massive victory for SAM as we spearheaded the opposition to the bill and led a massive grassroots coalition.
“New York legislators learned that commercializing marijuana brings along a host of significant health, safety and societal costs that result in no tax money and no social justice,” said SAM president Dr. Kevin Sabet. “The predatory pot industry wanted legislators to believe that this was simple. Like they did in New Jersey, they said it was inevitable. The industry told people it would rain money for a host of pet projects, that our young people wouldn’t be at risk and drugged driving concerns were overblown. Thankfully, New York’s parents, doctors, law enforcement, teachers and many lawmakers didn’t fall for the con.
“New Yorkers can be assured we will continue working to prevent the industry from making gains in further sessions, and we will redouble our efforts to protect young people and those in low income and minority communities who are subjected to relentless in targeting, exploitation and victimization by Big Marijuana. We will continue to work every day to put public health and safety over the profits of this addiction-for-profit industry.”
United Nations World Drug Report Castigates American Jurisdictions for Lax Marijuana Policies

SAM Chief of Staff joins C-SPAN’s Washington Journal

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released the latest edition of the annual World Drug Report, specifically calling out the United States, and jurisdictions like Colorado, for their lax marijuana policies. The report found fewer young people view the drug as having harmful health impacts, average potency of products has risen, and large corporations are beginning to infiltrate the industry.
“This report is a global wake-up call,” said SAM president Dr. Kevin Sabet. “Effective drug policy is one that discourages use and creates means for people to get help with substance use disorders. As this survey indicates, drug policy in the United States has instead encouraged use.”
SAM Chief of Staff and Senior Policy AdvisorLuke Niforatos joined C-SPAN’s Washington Journal recently to discuss SAM’s recent accomplishments and why we are so passionate about fighting to defend public health and safety from Big Marijuana.
“I have spoken with a number of people who advocated on the anti-tobacco fight for many years, and they are saying with this push to legalize marijuana, all of the gains we got against tobacco are being rolled back. It was all for nothing. Unfortunately, there is so much misinformation being put out right now. People do not think secondhand marijuana smoke is the same thing as secondhand tobacco smoke, and it is. The American Lung Association tells us it is just as carcinogenic as tobacco smoke is. Science must prevail. We must listen to our public health professionals and our scientists. The thing with any public health issue, we have got to let science rule the day.”

SAM Marks International Day Against Drug Abuse With Special Consultative Status Granted By the United Nations

On the occasion of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) was notified by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) that it received special consultative status to the United Nations. This status allows SAM to designate official representatives to the UN headquarters in New York, Geneva, and Vienna, and submit written and oral statements to the Council.

“We are immensely grateful for this honor,” said SAM president Dr. Kevin Sabet. “This decision speaks volumes to the drug policy work SAM’s volunteers and staff does at home and abroad. Though we don’t often tout our international work, we have been honored to be involved with several international organizations, including the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, and we look forward to further helping craft drug policy on the international level.”

House Adopts Amendment Blocking FDA from Protecting Children From Marijuana Industry

Congress Must Reject the Blumenauer/McClintock Amendment on Marijuana

The United States House of Representatives narrowly voted to approve the Blumenauer/McClintockamendment to the Fiscal Year 2019 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill that will prohibit Department of Justice funding from being used to enforce federal law upon stores, facilities, and growers trafficking in so-called recreational marijuana. As a result of this amendment, the Food and Drug Administration – which uses the DOJ to take action against entities that fail to adhere to FDA guidelines – will be powerless to hold the industry accountable for marketing harmful, high potency marijuana products in kid-friendly forms.

“Though this vote has little chance of passing in the Senate and becoming law, it is unfortunate the members of the House who voted in support of this amendment have been duped by the pot industry into thinking this amendment is a good idea,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet. “This amendment, spearheaded by one of the largest recipients of marijuana industry donations in Congress, is a massive handout to Big Marijuana and effectively sends the message that no matter how many health and safety harms the industry causes, it is protected from federal oversight.”

Pot industry supporters in Congress snuck an amendment into a recent spending bill that would essentially prevent the FDA from taking enforcement action against bad actors in the marijuana industry that refuse to take heed of warnings from the public health watchdog. SAM president Dr. Kevin Sabet penned an oped outlining why this amendment must be defeated and its intentions exposed:
“The FDA relies on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to take enforcement action when a company refuses to comply with warnings from the FDA. Should this amendment pass into law, the FDA would be hamstrung as they would not be able to use the DOJ to bring about enforcement action against those who are actively taking advantage of the cover given by this amendment.

“It is time our policy makers listened to the science and put public health and safety above the profits of addiction industries. The playbook of Big Tobacco is being replicated by Big Marijuana. Don’t be duped, Congress. Reject addiction-for-profit and reject the Blumenauer/McClintock amendment.”

New Study Finds Pot Revenue Could Be Largely Wiped Out By Increased Costs to Law Enforcement

new study shows that a huge percentage of New York’s estimated revenue from legal pot sales would need to be directed toward costs associated with law enforcement and protecting public safety. Smart Approaches to Marijuana New York (SAM NY), in cooperation with theNew York State Sheriffs’ Association, has released a first-of-its-kind study analyzing costs of marijuana legalization on the state’s law enforcement and emergency services agencies and local governments.

“Big Marijuana has told legislators money will basically be falling from the sky if they approve commercial pot,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet. “What this study shows is by conservative estimates, just the law enforcement costs of legal pot will require either using much of the state revenue for public safety or local municipalities and property taxpayers getting stuck with a big bill.”

New National Poll: 62% of Registered Voters Disapprove of Marijuana Commercialization
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker Signs Marijuana Legalization Bill Into Law Putting Profits Above Health and Safety

According to a new national poll, 62% of registered voters do not support the legalization and commercialization of marijuana when given more options than prosecuting possession or full legalization. The false dichotomy of legalization versus incarceration is pervasive in national polling and is promoted by the marijuana industry and its supporters as it makes it seem more popular than it actually is.
“Big Marijuana pushes the false narrative that marijuana legalization is supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet. “The more people learn the truth of what commercial pot looks like, and the more they hear of the negative impacts it has on health and safety, the more they oppose allowing Big Marijuana from setting foot in their state.”
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a bill to legalize the use of marijuana and its commercial sale into law, over the advice of the overwhelming majority of medical associations, public safety organizations, and social justice advocates.
“With the stroke of his pen, Governor Pritzker has signed a check to his family – who are massively invested in Big Pot and laughing their way to their offshore tax shelters – and put the interests of Big Marijuana ahead of the health and safety of Illinois residents. While New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, Connecticut, Vermont, Hawaii, Minnesota and Rhode Island all rejected the commercialization of highly potency pot this year, Illinois chose to bend to the demands of this addiction-for-profit industry.”

SAM Releases Comprehensive Lessons Learned From Legalization Report

SAM released its third annual  Lessons Learned Report , a comprehensive study of the data outcomes in ‘legalized’ marijuana states. This study, validated by researchers from institutions such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins University and used as primary source material by international, federal, state, and local officials, as well as countless community organizations, finds that states that have legalized marijuana are witnessing rising use rates, thriving black markets, and harms among disadvantaged communities.
“As a handful of states are considering relaxing their marijuana laws, this  report will continue to serve as an eye-opener for lawmakers and slow the rush to legalize,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of SAM. “The commercialization of marijuana has been profitable for the industries such as Big Tobacco, yet tax revenues are falling short and serious, costly consequences abound. It is time to admit that marijuana legalization is a failed policy.”

Big Marijuana is borrowing the playbook of Big Tobacco in search of the same deep profits at the expense of addicted users. It is time to combat their game with the facts! To help you do so, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) has partnered with Communities for Alcohol and Drug Free Youth (CADY) to offer a comprehensive media campaign prevention toolkit.

As always, thank you for being a SAM supporter. If you can, please chip-in with a small donation by clicking here.

If you can’t chip-in, then at the very least,  and help grow the SAM community.


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CANADA: Canadian Cannabis Chaos Continues!

Toronto is resorting to giant cement blocks to keep illegal pot shops from reopening

About a dozen illegal dispensaries still operating in Toronto, city official says

CBC News Jun 07, 2019

There’s a new weapon in the city’s battle against illegal pot dispensaries: giant cement blocks.

Two photos posted to Reddit show the blocks stacked up in front of alleged cannabis dispensaries, blocking entry.

It’s the latest move to put a stop to illegal dispensaries that have been able to operate thanks in part to a legal loophole in the province’s Cannabis Control Act.

That loophole has prevented authorities from barring access to, and removing people from, suspected dispensaries that were also being used as residences.

“This has proven to be a bit more of a substantial tactic,” said Mark Sraga, the city’s director of investigation services for municipal licensing and standards.

Illegal cannabis storefronts have persisted in Toronto despite raids and attempts to bar the stores’ entryways using other means, including steel doors. Sraga estimates about a dozen are still in operation despite enforcement measures.

Bill to close loophole passes at Queen’s Park

But on Thursday, a bill aiming to close the loophole — by removing the exception around dispensaries that might also serve as residences — received royal assent, despite objections from some MPPs.

NDP MPP Jeff Burch, for example, raised concerns that a family could be expelled from their home because another relative, or even a visitor, was selling cannabis.

“We have some concerns on what this will mean for families,” he said.

“Cannabis is currently legal, and while the illegal sale of cannabis should be prohibited, giving the ability for a family to be expelled from their home because a family member —or worse, a visitor — engages in an illegal activity is unthinkable.”

“Going forward, a residential property that’s being used to sell cannabis illegally, we will also be able to doing barring of entry at those places,” said Sraga.

for more go to https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/cement-blocks-toronto-illegal-potshops-1.5166676


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USA: Marijuana Madness Grows – OHS ‘out the window with weed’

Nevada Will Ban Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing On January 1, 2020

June  2019

Beginning on January 1, 2020, it will be illegal to conduct pre-employment drug testing for marijuana in the state of Nevada. Assembly Bill No. 132 was signed into law by the governor on June 5, 2019. This makes Nevada the first state to enact such a law (although New York City became the first city to enact such a law, as we discussed in previous blog posts).

The law provides that it “is unlawful for any employer in this State to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee because the employee submitted to a screening test and the results of the screening test indicate the presence of marijuana.” A “screening test” is defined to mean a test of a person’s blood, urine, hair or saliva to detect the general presence of a controlled substance or any other drug. The law does not apply to applicants who apply for positions as firefighters, emergency medical technicans, operators of motor vehicles who are required to submit to drug tests, or other positions that “in the determination of the employer, could adversely affect the safety of others.”

For complete article https://www.natlawreview.com/article/nevada-will-ban-pre-employment-marijuana-testing-january-1-2020


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GLOBAL: Smart Approaches to Marijuana, Gains U.N Consulting Status!


The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) designated Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) special consultative status to the United Nations. It happened on June 26, the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

This status allows SAM to designate official representatives to the UN headquarters in New York, Geneva, and Vienna, and submit written and oral statements to the Council. SAM representatives have already been discussing marijuana policy at UN meetings since its founding in 2013, but now the organization has become official.

“We are immensely grateful for this honor,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of SAM and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration, who has represented both the Bush and Obama Administration at international drug policy meetings in the past. “This decision speaks volumes to the drug policy work SAM’s volunteers and staff does at home and abroad. Though we don’t often tout our international work, we have been honored to be involved with several international organizations, including the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, and we look forward to further helping craft drug policy on the international level.”

SAM has international presence

While SAM’s primary focus is fighting marijuana commercialization in the United States, it has been extremely active at the international level in the past few years. Its side events at the annual Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna, for example, are among the most widely attended of the meeting. Additionally, SAM has testified in numerous countries, including Canada and in the Caribbean, and regularly consults with organizations and governments in virtually every continent. Just recently, SAM played a key role in preventing Norwegian oil pension funds from investing in marijuana companies.

“Our work knows no boundaries. It’s important other countries learn from both our mistakes and things we should be proud of in US drug policy,” Sabet said.

Recently, Sabet tweeted, “94.5% of the world population do *not* use drugs. ”  (The United States and Canada are exceptions, with 54% of the world’s drug users.)

Above photo is from the Global Drug Policy Summit held in Phoenix, Arizona, on June 26, 2019.   From left to right: Dr. Robert DuPont, President, Institute for Behavior and Health and first US Drug Czar, Dr. Kevin Sabet and Linda Nilsson, Secretary General, World Federation Against Drugs and Swedish National Association for a Drug-Free Society


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GLOBAL: Waking Up to Weed!


When I was 17 my BFF Lisa was in a single car accident.  She was prone to smoking bong hits and driving with her knees.  She was in a coma for a year and died.  I first smoked pot with her and her mom. Lisa was her only child.

I blamed a faulty car for her death, not pot.

In my 30s, I partied with a young 20s co-worker from UMass.  She had smoked strong pot, AK-47 for years.  I stopped hanging out once she became paranoid, delusional and agoraphobic.  She later was in a mental hospital for schizophrenia and has been on disability ever since.

I blamed her genes for her debilitating mental illness, not pot.

The rose colored glasses of denial.

I dated a patient,  also named Lisa, at the dispensary who had extreme psychotic episodes whenever she smoked high potency Sativa.  She would almost collapse, regress into a two-year-old state of mind, scream at the top of her lungs and then go into loud, joyous religious rapture singing.

The scariest experience was when in psychosis she uttered in a guttural deep voice so unlike her’s, “Choke her!”  It was an alarming Sybil Stephen King moment that sent chills down my spine. I didn’t know if her split personality was talking about choking herself or me.

Needless to say, it was very hard being with her, we were not a good match whatsoever and broke up.  I later learned that she committed suicide at 52.

I blamed her diagnosis of bipolar for her suicide, not pot.

Rip the Pot Van Winkle

Bong rips: “A noun that refers to the action of smoking from a bong. So named for the sound that air makes when it bubbles through the bong water.”

One time in college my friends had too much water in a bong – really dirty, unchanged, high potency bong water.  The too high water level caused me to unintentionally swallow a huge mouthful of bong water when I released the carburetor.


I immediately started to hallucinate, almost passed out.   Was lucky to stay conscious long enough to make it to the bathroom and vomit profusely.  Took a heck of a long time for my mind to clear and body to recover.  But I saw no problem with continuing to use pot.

For years I discounted all of those signposts showing that marijuana is dangerous  because I was so enmeshed in my pot denial.

When, finally, I experienced such terrible physical and mental effects myself, this Rip the Pot Van Winkle woke up out of a pot slumber.  The truth could no longer be denied. Horrible psychosis woke me up.  I am SO lucky I survived.

I had the epiphany that pot caused my BFF’s death via DUI; pot caused my friend to become schizophrenic, and pot caused psychosis and suicide with my ex-girlfriend.  Pot caused me to think violent thoughts like shooting people, and brought me to the brink of suicide.

Pot almost took me out.  I couldn’t perceive the damage because I was high on pot.

By Anne Hassel,  a new friend of Parents Opposed to Pot.



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GLOBAL: Waster Weed Wrecks Lives – The Vulnerable and Innocent Always Pay!

Mom put fatal dose of fentanyl in baby’s sippy cup so she could ‘relax and smoke marijuana’: prosecutor (The Monster that is Marijuana A-Motivation; and people what governments to endorse this psychotropic toxin through law??!!)

, AOL.COM June 2019

A woman found guilty of spiking her baby’s sippy cup with a fatal dose of fentanyl committed the crime in order to quiet the child so she could “sit back, relax and smoke marijuana,” a prosecutor said Monday.

Assistant district attorney Diana Page told a Pennsylvania jury that Jhenea Pratt, 23, drugged her 17-month-old daughter, Charlette Napper-Talley, in April 2018 with the “specific intent to kill,” according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“That baby was getting in the way of her enjoying her pastime,” Page claimed, referencing the mother’s drug use.

Pratt was convicted on Tuesday of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. She will be sentenced at a later date.

Police responded to a call at Pratt’s apartment on April 5 of last year about a baby who wasn’t breathing. First responders rushed Charlette to a nearby hospital where she later died.

Tests received by the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office revealed the presence of fentanyl in the toddler’s blood. Red liquid inside a pink sippy cup found on the toddler’s bed also tested positive for enough of the potent drug to “kill two horses,” Detective Michael Flynn said during an interrogation.

When asked how the incident may have unfolded, Pratt told investigators,”I have no knowledge as to how fentanyl got into my daughter’s sippy cup.”

For Full story https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/06/05/mom-put-fatal-dose-of-fentanyl-in-babys-sippy-cup-relax-and-smoke-marijuana/23742430/


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USA: Marijuana Mess Starting to Migrate to Masses! NO HAPPY!



CONTACT: Colton Grace Colton@learnaboutsam.org (864)-492-6719

New National Poll: 62% of Registered Voters Disapprove of Marijuana Commercialization

(Alexandria, VA) – According to a new national poll, 62% of registered voters do not support the legalization and commercialization of marijuana when given more options than prosecuting possession or full legalization. The false dichotomy of legalization versus incarceration is pervasive in national polling, and is promoted by the marijuana industry and its supporters as it makes it seem more popular than it actually is.

The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon, found that 62% of voters support either keeping current marijuana laws in place, decriminalizing the drug (making it like a traffic ticket), or want to see it legalized for medical use only. Only 38% supported the full commercialization of the drug.

“Big Marijuana pushes the false narrative that marijuana legalization is supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and a former drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. “The more people learn the truth of what commercial pot looks like, and the more they hear of the negative impacts it has on health and safety, the more they oppose allowing Big Marijuana – who by the way is seeing massive investment from Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol – from setting foot in their state.”


About SAM: Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in more than 30 states.

Evidence shows that marijuana – which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades – is addictive and harmful to the human brain especially when used by adolescents. In states that have already legalized the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes, youth marijuana use, and costs that far outweigh pot revenues.These states have seen a black market that continues to thrive, sustained disparities in marijuana arrest rates, and tobacco company investment in marijuana.


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UK: Law is a very useful tool to Educate and Reform, not simply Punish!

Raging drug addict caught selling heroin begs judge to send him to jail

Devon Live June 2019

Heroin dealer David Hensman asked judge to jail him (Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)

A self-confessed raging drug addict asked to be sent to jail after he was caught dealing heroin in a Devon town.

Chronic user David Hensman, aged 33, was caught red-handed by police selling the drug in Kingsbridge, a court heard.

A judge was considering an order to tackle his habit – but he demanded to be put behind bars.

Hensman, speaking from the dock of Plymouth Crown Court, said: “I am a raging drug addict. My lifestyle is chaotic. I cannot see me sorting myself out.

“I just feel that it is the way to go (prison). I want to go away and sort my head out. I am ready to make a change.”

Jailing him for two years, Judge Robert Linford told him: “Given the position you adopt, which is entirely understandable, I do as you ask.

“I do so with a heavy heart, you are clearly an intelligent man and you have something to offer.”

Hensman, of Well House Gardens in Kingsbridge, may well have gone to jail anyway – the usual destination for Class A drug dealers.

But Judge Linford asked him whether he would undergo a court order to treat and test his addiction, which prompted his response from the dock.

Hensman pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to supply on June 20 last year.

He also admitted possession of small amounts of cocaine and cannabis for personal use.

For complete story  Legalizing Drugs Removes the very useful JUDICIAL EDUCATOR!


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USA: New York City new O.H.S Policy for Workers (Only Help Stoners!)

Up in Smoke: New York City Bans Pre-Employment Drug Testing for Marijuana

JD Supra June, 2019

Effective May 10, 2020, New York City employers may no longer test prospective employees for marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. This bill- which is the first of its kind in the country- makes such testing an unlawful discriminatory practice under the New York City Human Rights Law.

The New York City Council passed the new bill on April 9, 2019 with a 41-4 vote. Councilman and Public Advocate, Jumanne Williams, sponsored the bill and testified in support of its passage that it would not “giv[e] permission for anyone to come to work high,” but rather is intended to remove a barrier to employment for New Yorkers, particularly those from communities of color. Williams stated that failed drug tests historically lead to a “depletion in the labor pool and the inability of many to advance their careers,” which is “harmful to employers and employees alike.”

While the bill, No. 1445-A, prohibits most New York City employers from requiring a prospective employee to submit to pre-employment testing for THC or marijuana, it contains several exceptions for certain types of jobs. For example, it permits testing for safety and security sensitive jobs such as police officers or peace officers, jobs requiring a commercial driver’s license, and positions requiring the supervision of care of children, medical patients, and other vulnerable persons. The bill also excepts jobs that require drug testing as a condition of receiving a federal contract or grant and notably does not interfere with required federal drug testing mandated by the federal Department of Transportation. The bill provides that the New York City Commission on Human Rights promulgate rules regarding its implementation in the year to come.

For complete article go to So now OHS stands for Only Help Stoners?


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UK: Cocaine Capital of Europe – Wealthy Wannabes Waste the World!

Blood on their hands: The decadent drug users who don’t care about dark origins

The drug trail of misery to the UK – where cocaine use is the highest in Europe – involves environmental devastation, deadly violence, high-level corruption and crime

At a smart dinner party, where cocaine is passed around like canapes, the wealthy guests likely do not think about the class A drug’s dark origins.

Behind these decadent suburban scenes are the end result of a supply chain that involves environmental devastation, violence, high-level corruption and crimes including gang warfare, sex trafficking and terrorism.

The global trail of devastation that cocaine leaves in its wake is why London Mayor Sadiq Khan last year linked rising violence on the city’s streets to middle-class drug consumption.

And it is why Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick told middle-class drug users that they had “blood on their hands”.

Police Federation deputy treasurer Simon Kempton heaped blame on wealthy middle class people for the boom in class A drug sales.

He said: “If you look at why there is a market for cocaine from South America it is because people who can afford it are buying it and fuelling the problem.

“Street-level users are a problem because they steal to fund their habit. But on their own they will not support an organised-crime group.

“The big market is people with money to spend and they are often oblivious to the misery they cause because it is not on their doorstep.

“Middle-class drug users do not come across the radar of police because they are consuming it behind closed doors. There’s a lack of personal responsibility.”

Far from a victimless crime, taking cocaine leaves bloody footsteps and even death from the streets in our town and across the world.

Fore complete story https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/blood-hands-decadent-drug-users-16491263


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