I've been mulling this over a bit since the Nigella thing 'broke'. It seems that the public reaction to her admitted drug use (and that of many 'celebs' who have been caught at it) is one of 'oh it's only a couple of lines of charlie a lot of people do it, many people who hold down good jobs do it at the weekend'. In Nigella's case the 'her husband is obviously a bastard' has also added to the sympathy that a lot of people feel for her.
Victoria Coren also wrote a piece about how Nigella's wickedly naughty ex persuaded her to rub cocaine on her gums, as though it was just a by-product of being in a sort of edgy friendship group.
Now, let us consider what the act of using cocaine actually does.
It puts money in the hands of organised criminals, who are probably involved in many other crimes connected with, or in addition to drug dealing.
It exploits people who are blackmailed into being couriers, risking their lives in the process. I don't know if 'celebs' get their drugs from 'reputable' (ha) dealers, so avoid having to feel guilty about this.
It keeps some of the poorest nations on earth in a state of near civil war. Countries where kids might be mown down in the street just because they happen to be in the crossfire. In the wrong place at the wrong time.
I can't help but feel that there would have been more outcry if Nigella had used unsustainable fish on her program or advertised clothes made in a sweatshop. Obviously both of these would be 'bad', but compared to what dishing out fifty quid on cocaine actually does, perhaps we are busy looking in the wrong direction. We love to blame 'companies' and 'capitalism' for exploitation, but regard putting money in the hands of rapacious criminals as something a bit 'naughty'. Something that gets a wink and a nod.
One last thought on the drugs mule issue. Do people who use cocaine ever consider that they are sniffing up something that is likely to have passed through another person's gut and shat out the other end?
On that note, over to you.