Express & Star comment: Drugs trail of misery is worldwide
It may seem a very different world to people who use drugs – particularly cocaine – in the West Midlands.
But the full story of the brutal background to this so-called ‘middle class’ drug should shock people to the core.
In an investigation that took him more than 5,000 miles away to the Colombian jungle, Express & Star reporter Alex Ross has discovered entire villages displaced by vicious gang wars between blood-thirsty cartels.
- How Black Country fuels Colombian drugs war between vicious cocaine cartels
- Drugs wars: ‘People learn if they see or hear, they don’t talk’
Villagers and farmers have been forced to cultivate the coca plant to such a degree that the South African country now hosts cocaine crops that would cover an area twice the size of the entire West Midlands conurbation.
West Midlands Police and the National Crime Agency are fighting a decades-long battle to prevent the rising tide of addiction, violence and misery on our streets that has been caused by cocaine.
In a cruel twist, the increasing amount that is being brought into this country means the purity is higher than ever, as dealers no longer have to cut it with other substances to the same degree as before.
The messages is clear to anyone tempted to use cocaine: There is a human cost of misery far beyond the pounds, shillings and pence paid to organised crime to supply the drug.
As ever, our sympathies go with not only the villagers in Colombia, but also to our already over-stretched police forces in the UK.
They are tasked with dealing with the unenviable and almost unfathomable legal muddle brought on by years of collective political apathy towards the issue.
We also pity the poor fools who turn to this drug without realising the full extent of the danger they are putting themselves in.
Often they are subjecting themselves to a drug that may contain any number of unsavoury ingredients, including bleach, rat poison and even strips of human skin.
Britain’s drugs crisis is an issue that politicians from all parties have failed to successfully address. Scandalously, for some of those in political office, it even appears to be an area that they avoid at all costs.
It is time this country saw sense over drug use and drug laws.
Theresa May needs to stop dancing around the issue and deliver some serious policies to stop this tide of misery.