Amy Winehouse and Kate Moss singled out for glamorising cocaine by UN drugs head
AMY WINEHOUSE AND Kate Moss have been singled out as glamorising cocaine, exacerbating a global drugs trade that threatens to destroy parts of Africa.
The head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, initiated a fierce attack on ‘celebrity’ cocaine users, warning that Britain faced a massive new threat from Colombian cocaine barons, who have recently laid down new trade routes to Europe through Africa’s west coast.
Costa explained that the escalating trade was a huge risk to youngsters in Britain, where cocaine abuse has doubled among 16-to-24-year-olds in the last 10 years.
The trade is also damaging impoverished West African nations, where corrupt governments are increasingly bribed to allow drug traffickers to operate with near impunity, despite it causing rife domestic addiction.
The UN official claimed although celebrities so often backed campaigns to battle African poverty, they had no interest in the cocaine trade effecting the continent.
Mr Costa said at a press conference in Madrid this weekend: ‘Europeans now understand that they should not buy blood diamonds, or clothes made by slaves working in sweatshops, yet with cocaine, the opposite occurs.’
He added: ‘Look at Kate Moss who still receives lucrative contracts after she was photographed sniffing. Rock stars, like Amy Winehouse, become popular by singing ‘I ain’t going to rehab’ even though she badly needed, and eventually sought, treatment.
‘A sniff here and a sniff there in Europe are causing another disaster in Africa, to add to its poverty, its mass unemployment and its pandemics.’
Mr Costa said he aimed to make cocaine as ‘socially unacceptable’ as heroin, saying: ‘Nobody makes movies about ‘blood coke’. But models and socialites who wouldn’t dare to wear a tiger fur coat, show no qualms about flaunting their cocaine use in public.’