A disturbing video circulating online shows over 50 young men suspected of smoking “Kush,” a dangerous synthetic drug, being apprehended and humiliated by a community group in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The footage, filmed in an unidentified neighborhood, depicts young boys, seemingly between 14 and 17 years old, being rounded up. The videographer narrates the scene, claiming some of the captured youths already exhibit injuries linked to Kush use.

Kush, a highly addictive synthetic cannabinoid, has ravaged Sierra Leonean youth in recent years. Hundreds have reportedly lost their lives to the drug, with many users being teenagers โ€“ the very demographic the nation relies on for its future.

This synthetic drug, introduced to Sierra Leone six years ago, is a potent and unpredictable mix. It’s often laced with dangerous additives like acetone, tramadol (an opioid painkiller), and even formalin, a chemical used for embalming. Despite these risks, the easy availability and low cost of Kush make it a tempting escape for unemployed youth grappling with poverty.

Kush users are a ubiquitous sight across Freetown, from impoverished slums to seemingly affluent areas. The video captures them in various states of intoxication, slumped over, heads lolling, some even sleeping standing up.

The video concludes with the arrival of a newly apprehended suspect. Heโ€™s stripped, his hair shorn, and forced to join the others. Online reactions are divided, with some supporting the community’s vigilante approach, while others condemn it as mob justice.

Many comments on the post support the youths who are conducting the raid and others criticize the process referring to it as mob justice.

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