Stiff, sagging, and flaccid…and when I missed it, “zombies poured out.”

It’s broad daylight and a drugged man is staggering around in front of a subway station in the United States. There are police officers nearby, but they leave the body alone. In this drug epidemic, one in five Americans over the age of 12 use illegal drugs. The fact that we did not stop drugs strongly enough in time has led to this result, and it is something that Korea should pay attention to as the drug epidemic is spreading rapidly.

Let’s take a look at the reality of the situation in the U.S. First, let’s look at what reporter Yong Sik Lee reported on the ground in Manhattan, New York.


A man stops in the middle of a crowd of pedestrians and smokes something.

When you look closer, you realize it’s cannabis, made by rolling hemp leaves in paper.

Inside the subway station, he’s leaning against the wall of the stairs in a slumped position, unmoving or unconscious.

It’s a classic drug overdose.

I’m in the middle of Manhattan, New York City.

And if you look to the side, you’ll see these stoned people mingling casually among the citizens.

New York City has licensed more than 60 cannabis dispensaries since 2021.

This has led to the creation of over 1,400 illegal dispensaries, selling not only cannabis but also fentanyl, heroin, and other illegal drugs.

The idea was that since hemp is relatively non-addictive, we’d bring it out into the open, control it, and tax it, but we’ve opened a Pandora’s box.

[Naomi/New Yorker: At school, someone tried to give my daughter, who is in high school, weed, and it’s sad because now everyone is free to do whatever they want and there are so many options to choose from].

A local recovering addict also shared how marijuana, which started out light, easy, and casual, ended up “destroying his life.”

[Corey Wilson/Experienced drug addict: I started with weed and worked my way up to harder drugs, cocaine and heroin, and my life just kept getting worse and worse].

(Reporting by Kim Seung-tae, Editing by Kim Jun-hee)


Reporter Lee Jong-sik is here.

Q. Legalization of hemp, is it okay as it is?

[Anchor] The idea of legalizing cannabis, controlling it, and taxing it? The idea of some cities in the United States, including New York, is reckless. Recently, New York has cracked down on illegal dispensaries, but it’s not just about dispensaries. The US has already missed its so-called golden opportunity to combat drugs, with Philadelphia’s Kensington being an iconic example. Let’s see what the U.S. missed, with local coverage].


[Chase, chase, chase, chase!]

A group of drug addicts, one of them carrying a metal skewer, run at the press car.

[Oh man, if I hadn’t gotten out of the car…. I could have been in trouble].

This is Kensington Street in Philadelphia, home to the largest drug market in the country.

It’s just a 10-minute drive from the city center.

Along this two-mile stretch of street, freshly used syringes and trash are strewn about with such casual abandon.

We’re about to see just how close and how serious the lure of drugs is.

I was accompanied by a pastor who has been serving drug addicts in Kensington for years.

[CHAE WANG KYU/LOCAL PASTOR: Look at that, he’s stoned on fentanyl right there, right?]

They give each other syringes with drugs in them.

[Chae Wang-kyu/Hyunji: (That’s) a heroin needle, and he’s got 100 to 200 of them now].

A mother is seen pushing a stroller to do drugs, and the grass of the park inside the library is empty of students, just adults stretched out on drugs.

[Rev. Chae Wang Kyu/Local Pastor: There’s like 20,000 people doing drugs in this Kensington neighborhood, and there’s violence, and there’s money dealing, and there’s prostitution, and there’s all the basic things that break down in society].

Despite a strong police presence, the situation continues to worsen.

[Joseph Bishop/experienced drug user: 5-6 out of 10 people in this city are directly or indirectly involved with drugs].

The reason Kensington has gotten to this point is because the time to act strongly was missed.

In the late 1990s, the drug situation in Portugal and the United States was similar.

But while Portugal has seen drug deaths fall to one-fifth of the European average since 2000, the US has seen a steep rise, surpassing 110,000 last year.

The biggest difference is the timing of tackling the drug problem head-on: Portugal started in 2001, while the US didn’t start until 2016, even in Philadelphia.

In the U.S., the missed timing allowed drug distribution networks to grow deeper roots and drugs to become cheaper, pushing even youth and the poor into addiction.

The US set up a 50 billion dollar, 50 trillion won fund to combat drugs last year, but it’s hard to predict how effective it will be as the golden opportunity has passed메이저사이트.

(Reporting by Kim Seung-tae, Editing by Oh Young-taek, CG by Cho Soo-in)


Q. Concentrating on young people at the right time?

[Reporter] Credit: Whether the policy was implemented within the golden time, this is the biggest difference. In particular, Portugal’s strategy of focusing on young people was the main factor. If you look at the analytical report of Portugal, the biggest success factor was to reduce drug consumption in the 15-19 age group. It did this by implementing two policies, the first being supply interdiction. They kept a close eye on drugs coming in from former colonies, South American countries, etc. The second is education. The report says, “We did a carpet bombing.” We educated young people about the harmfulness of drugs in all the places where they congregate.” [This is a good example for Korea, which is relatively inactive in educating young people about drugs].

Q. Does it affect Korea?

[Reporter Credit: The aftermath of the legalization of cannabis in the U.S. is already affecting the local Korean community, and it is also affecting Korean society through international students, tourists, etc. We were able to confirm this in our local coverage, and we will report the reality of the connection tomorrow (6th)].