Cocaine "Loyalty Cards" Reportedly Being Issued By UK Dealers

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Cocaine "Loyalty Cards" Reportedly Being Issued By UK Dealers

By Beth Leipholtz 04/11/18

With frequent use of the dealer's card, loyal customers would reportedly get their sixth and twelfth cocaine purchase free.

Image: 
man withdrawing white card that says loyalty from his suit pocket

“One freebie for every five stamps you collect!! Love Loyal-T,” reads the card. 

At first glance, it could be part of a loyalty program at coffee shops or grocery stores. But instead, it’s for something far less streamlined: cocaine. 

The Daily Telegraph, a UK newspaper, obtained one of these cards that it says appeal to the “middle class” cocaine users. The newspaper says the cards resemble those that would be used at a coffee shop or grocery store, and that the developers “have adopted well-honed marketing techniques intended to promote brand loyalty and increase use by ‘customers.’”

In simple terms, the idea behind the card is that loyal customers would get their sixth and twelfth cocaine purchase free, according to the Telegraph’s anonymous source.

With its imagery “associated with the dance and rave music cultures of the 1980s and 1990s,” the design of the card seems to appeal to those in their 30s and above, the newspaper says.

According to Esquire, the materialization of these cards follows months of problematic gun and knife violence in London. David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, tells Esquire this is likely due to gangs selling drugs. 

“We’ve had this vicious spike in knife and gun crime in Haringey, fueled by a turf war between two rival gangs in Tottenham and Wood Green,” he said. “Most of these killings are being fueled by a huge spike in the movement of drugs, particularly cocaine.”

However, Lammy says, those who buy and use drugs are also to blame in this situation. 

“People who are buying cocaine on a Friday night in the city or are having drugs delivered to a dinner party or a house party in a wealthy suburb have got to look at themselves in the mirror and make the connection between their drug use and what is happening on the streets to serve their recreational weekend habit," he told Esquire

Harry Shapiro, who works for an online drug information service called DrugWise, tells the Telegraph it all comes down to competition. 

“The level of competition on the street means they have to offer an incentive to get their customers to stay with the one dealer,” he said. “But this card also shows how there are two very different ends of the drug-dealing spectrum. At the one end, there is an offer of a modicum of support to the buyer.”

The other end, he says, has to do with trying to beat competition, leading to violence. 

According to the Telegraph, former head of drugs threat at the National Crime Agency, Tony Saggers, said last year that cocaine use by “middle-aged, middle class people at dinner parties” was contributing to crime. 

“They will find sweatshop abhorrent, slave labor a brutal, terrifying thing to be happening in their neighborhood,” he said. He also added, “Each time those people snort that line of cocaine, they have just funded far worse.”

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Beth is a Minnesota girl who got sober at age 20. By day she is a website designer, and in her spare time she enjoys writing about recovery at www.lifetobecontinued.com, doing graphic design and spending time with her boyfriend and three dogs. Find Beth on LinkedInInstagram and Twitter.

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