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Monday, January 25, 2010

Cocaine sale in broad daylight

Everyday, an average of thirty (30) people, young and old, rich and poor; throng the New Town suburb of Accra to buy substances suspected to contain cocaine to sniff.

They only need to dish out as little as GH¢2.00 or GH¢3.00 to get the cocaine, which connoisseurs say is quite expensive. The suspicion there is that the cocaine, which ordinarily is injurious to human health, is adulterated and comes as double jeopardy to the health of addicts at New Town.

The shocking thing is that they inhale, sniff, drink concoctions or inject themselves with the stuff in the full glare of the general public.

In very high demand at the joint located near the Shell Filling Station at New Town are ‘clear’ and ‘boom’, the two most popular cocaine kinds that sell at GH¢3.00 and GH¢2.00 respectively.

The process of acquiring the cocaine is simple; you just drive or walk to the vicinity at any time of the day and either boldly walk to the joint to purchase yourself or hire the service of the ‘ghetto boys’ to buy for you.

There is no stress at all. (The ‘ghetto boys’ are jobless street youth who are ever eager to offer any kind of service so to have an opportunity of taking a short at cocaine, you can use any of them.

Visits by the Heritage newspaper to the site revealed that a lot of people, mostly boys in their formative years who ought to have been at school preparing themselves for future life, have so much embraced and become addicted to cocaine and marijuana use that, they spend very little on food. They look lean, dirty and drained of all energy but what keeps them on their feet.

Asem, a popular sniffer, when approached by reporters disguised as ‘ghetto boys’ to buy rolls of cocaine, had this to say: “Master, we have the ‘clear’ and the ‘boom’, its very strong; which one do you prefer?”

The team opted for the ‘clear’, the more expensive brand at the joint, which supposedly very responsible people who drive in posh cars throng there on daily basis to buy through middlemen.

After successfully obtaining the substance, the team was shocked to find that a tip it gave Asem, the middleman, after employing his service, was used to buy two rolls of the stuff for his personal use. He wouldn’t consider food, an item of clothing or any other thing as preferred option; as far as he was concerned, there was no opportunity cost at all.

Further checks revealed that the rate of deaths among the youth engaged in the sniffing is unusually high. A nearby shopkeeper lamented, “You see, my brother, the cocaine kills them easily but they don’t stop.”

For the benefit of the curious and uninitiated, the snuffling is done by dropping a small quantity of the cocaine on a sheet of paper, preferably the ones used to rap chewing gums. Heat is then applied through a lighter beneath the sheet and the vapour that evaporates is sniffed for seconds until the user gets very high. And sniffing is currently in vogue, far more popular than all the other practices.

Another worrying development the paper found out was the fact that a number of hostels housing students from various institutions in the capital are situated in the area, posing the danger of most students indulging in the practice.

The sniffers prefer places where there is heat to facilitate, according to them, the process. Parents whose children live in the vicinity close to the school could, therefore, monitor their wards by looking out for those who frequently experience intense seating and get easily agitated and often like to be at places where there is heat.

The police, the paper is reliably informed, have on countless occasions raided the area to arrest perpetrators of the crime, but the cocaine dealers always regroup shortly after every raid.

Source: The Heritage/Ghana

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