by Antonia Snagalli, British Pop Liaison
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011,
(LONDON) —The tragedy that was the life and death of Amy Winehouse took an even more morbid turn Monday after it was revealed that the late singer’s crack cocaine was found laced with none other than cigarette tobacco.
Investigators confirmed to the London Daily that among the inordinate quantities of heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, grain alcohol, prescription pills, quaaludes, and crack in Winehouse’s possession, a substantial amount of tobacco was also found mixed among her drugs. The revelation has stunned Winehouse’s grieving family and fans, exposing just how hopeless and depraved the vocalist’s lifestyle had devolved.
“We knew things were bad, but not this bad,” said longtime Winehouse friend and E! personality Kelly Osbourne Monday. “Smoking a crack pipe and joint at the same time while shooting heroin and slugging on a handle of POPOV vodka and receiving an LSD enema is one thing. We knew all of that… But smoking tobacco, too? We had no idea Amy had gotten this out of control.”
Some fans of the troubled contralto singer are receiving the tobacco revelation with as much shock at Winehouse’s untimely death itself, while others are wondering how such a wanton disregard for her health could have gone unnoticed or unaddressed by friends and staff.
"Yes, yes, the crack cocaine, the heroin, the crystal meth, the barbiturates, the prescription pills, the eight-balls...Sure, why not, you know?" said Winehouse's former manager, Ray Cosbert, to Duh Progressive Monday. "But if we had known Amy was mixing all of that with tobacco we definitively would have performed a forced intervention, maybe even gotten the United Nations involved."
Doctors and nurses who had treated Winehouse for her numerous addictions were equally dazed by the findings of cigarette tobacco in her crack. Said Dr. Samuel Smythe of the Our Lady of the Eternally Revolving Door rehabilitationclinic in London, where Winehouse sought treatment in 2009 for opiate addiction, "We tried everything to keep (Winehouse) out of the reach of the ultimate drug, tobacco. And while she was here it seemed she would succeed... I'm sorry this revelation has come to light. We never expected Amy would become this self-destructive."
Added Smythe, "Whatever it takes to ensure other drug-ravaged celebrities don't turn to cigarettes to get their fix, that's what my clinic and I will dedicate ourselves to from this point on.... No one deserves to die with tobacco in their crack."
Culture critics throughout the world are grappling from how the discovery of cigarette tobacco in Winehouse's crack may influence her fans and impressionable youth. British lawmakers have already begun debating whether penalties for crack cocaine dealers should be drastically stiffened in cases where tobacco (perhaps even a whole cigarette!) are mingled in with the illegal drugs sold on the streets of the UK. And already some lawmakers in the U.S. are matching their efforts. California Governor Jerry Brown announced yesterday morning his intention to make the sale or possession of crack cocaine mixed with tobacco a felony, punishable by no less than a quadruple life prison sentence without the chance of parole, leaving convicted crack-tobacco dealers eligible for release after 13 months.
Despite the reflexive drive to toughen laws aimed at tobacco-crack sales, health and pop culture experts say the discovery of tobacco in Amy Winehouse’s stash of rock cocaine may already have sent an irrevocable message to her impressionable young fans.
“Teens and young adults already face an uphill battle in trying to find clean, pure-grade crack to smoke, not that moldy crap you can get with rat poison or lye in it,” said Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN Monday. “Our kids deserve better. They deserve the finest crack and smack, and when they get it they need to keep it pure, not cut it with any other substances, particularly tobacco. We all know the dangers of smoking tobacco with our crack. Now who knows how many people (Winehouse’s) actions may have influenced to put tobacco in their crack…or God-forbid, forego the crack for an actual cigarette.”
However it is the distinct lack of actual cigarettes in Winehouse’s chic London flat that her family is clinging to for solace during these trying times. In a statement released Monday by Winehouse’s family, Amy’s father, Mitch, expressed sorrow and gratitude to those who loved and supported Winehouse through the years, and thanked God that at least his troubled daughter was not found with entire cigarettes in her possession.
“We deeply appreciate the British press continuing their time-honored tradition of respecting the privacy of families while in mourning,” read the statement. “…Although we are immensely saddened by our daughter’s seemingly inevitable death, we can at least take comfort in there being no packs of cigarettes in her home when she was discovered.”
“We had predicted a sad day like this years ago,” continued the statement. “We knew Amy had an addictive personality. We knew the drugs would get the better of her eventually, but not with tobacco in the mix. Learning that tobacco was found in her beloved crack was so stunning for us that it almost begs the question: was it not the time for Amy to go? Was Amy’s death a truly sad thing if she was on her way to smoking actual cigarettes? This entire tragedy may be a blessing in disguise.”