Search

Magazine to fund drug addicts’ habit launched in Shoreditch

PUBLISHED: 12:13 21 November 2014 | UPDATED: 12:14 21 November 2014

"Come work for Illegal"

Archant

Police have raised concerns about a new magazine being sold in Shoreditch which allows drug users to fund their habit.

Ricky, a seller, with Michael (right)Ricky, a seller, with Michael (right)

Police have raised concerns about a new magazine which allows drug users to fund their habit.

The Big Issue-style quarterly cultural magazine, Illegal, launched at Jaguar Shoes bar in Shoreditch last Thursday following a successful roll out in Copenhagen last September.

Danish drug reform campaigner and editor-in-chief, Michael Lodberg Olsen, came up with the idea in a bid to give drug users an income “beyond theft and prostitution”.

Anyone buying the magazine for £3.50 is advised the seller is “more than likely” to spend the money on drugs.

The eight sellers taking part in the Shoreditch pilot will be given the magazine for free to sell, but if it is successful they will be charged £1.50 a copy.

By the time the Gazette went to press, one seller had sold 80 copies within four days.

Acting Ch Insp Ian Simpkins from Hackney Police said he was not a “big fan” of the idea.

He said: “We would always wish to reduce crime and the generators for crime, which funding a drug habit often is of course.

“But this initiative seeks to legitimise and formalise fundraising for illegal drug use which I’m not sure is the answer.

“There is always the risk here of funding and consequently increasing a person’s drug use to the point where the selling of the magazine no longer covers the cost or the initiative fails, so you’re back to square one, or worse because you’re now consuming more drugs with all the health and crime risks that poses.”

But Mr Lodberg Olsen said Danish politicians had argued the same point when it launched there.

“In the many years since we have had this war on drugs we have never had more people on drugs,” he said.

“Drugs have never been cheaper, instead of continuing something which isn’t working, we want to explore other ways.

“We are dealing with the biggest taboo in our time. The way Illegal has been a success is that we are talking about it to try and break the taboo, and the people who read the magazine are pleased to talk more openly about it” .

Topics discussed in the magazine include the slaughter of 70,000 people in Mexico over the past eight years in the war on drugs, music developed through drug culture, and a man who overcame his addiction to cannabis.

Latest Hackney Stories

31 minutes ago

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff has heaped praise on forward duo Macaulay Bonne and Josh Koroma after the pair both netted in their 3-1 win against Bromley.

10:00

The latest boxing news from Hackney

Yesterday, 18:03

Mavis Jackson was born nine days after the Great War ended on November 20, 1918 – making her a “peace baby” despite her grand old age of 100.

Yesterday, 17:00

Bromley manager Neil Smith feels his side were unlucky to lose 3-1 to league leaders Leyton Orient.

Yesterday, 16:00

Eric Dier is ready to finally return to Portugal in what will be a “very special” occasion when England play in the Nations League Finals next summer.

Health chiefs have moved to address a multimillion pound overspend at Homerton Hospital.

Yesterday, 14:00

Harry Redknapp is currently taking part in the latest series of I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!

Finsbury Park has been stripped of its Green Flag status after a damning “mystery shopper” report by an environmental charity.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Former teacher Steve shares his experiences as a foster carer for teenagers, from dealing with some of their more challenging behaviour, to the rewards of seeing a child develop into a happy and healthy adult

If you are an unpaid carer in Hackney over the age of 25, who would like to get back into work, then Working for Carers can provide the practical assistance and support you need.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now


Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists