Instagram STILL lets drug kingpins push cannabis to children three months after shocking exposé of online trading

  • Meta’s photo platform still permits drug dealers to offer cannabis to children
  • Daily Mail investigative report revealed the sale of highly potent pharmaceuticals
  • Although Instagram promised that it would make improvements, drug deals continue to be made on Facebook’s parent company Meta

Instagram is still allowing drug dealers to push potent cannabis to children despite promising a crackdown after a Daily Mail exposé.

No.10 also called on Facebook to act after we discovered that violent criminals have made millions selling drugs via the platform.

Three months later, however, two of the biggest cannabis dealers that we identified are selling high-strength marijuana products via Instagram to thousands of their followers.

Last night the mother of a 23-year-old woman who killed herself in 2019 while suffering from cannabis-induced psychosis condemned the tech company owned by billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s firm Meta.

Kerry Head, whose daughter Emily Rowling had become increasingly paranoid after she started taking the drug as a teenager, said: ‘My message to the people who run Instagram is, you should be ashamed of yourselves.’

Emily Rowling killed herself in 2019 after suffering from cannabis-induced psychosis

After suffering from psychosis induced by cannabis, Emily Rowling committed suicide in 2019. 

She added that as a result of their ‘inaction’ since the Mail’s investigation it was ‘entirely possible’ that someone could have died after buying powerful cannabis from a dealer on the site.

‘For a drug dealer to be on Instagram for even five minutes before the profile is shut down is five minutes too long,’ said Mrs Head, 51, from Ockbrook, Derbyshire.

‘The fact that Instagram now knows about these profiles and has failed to act is unforgivable and shameful. They are putting their users at risk.’

Spaceshakehq, a user on Instagram, advertises edibles and cannabis drinks to more than 27,000 users.

It directs customers who reach it through the website to its Telegram messaging page where they can purchase their wares. The company was pleased to offer a high-quality cannabis strain to a journalist posing as an 16-year old boy.

Since the original Mail exposé it continues to operate the same way and has also started using images of a scantily clad model to promote its brand.

Stonechester in Manchester, an Instagram drug dealer who still promotes potent cannabis, is another. Professor Green has promoted it.

In our first exposé, Stonechester offered an undercover reporter the ultra-potent Californian cannabis strain known as ‘Cali’ and tried to sell packs of potent ‘nerd ropes’ – cannabis-laced children’s sweets that hospitalised 13 pupils at a London girls’ school last year.

A user called Spaceshakehq advertises cannabis drinks and edibles such as fruit-flavoured gummies on Instagram to more than 27,000 followers

Spaceshakehq, a user on Instagram, advertises edibles and cannabis drinks to more than 27,000 Instagram followers

A second reporter, posing as a 16-year-old, was offered products with names such as ‘Loaded Cannons’ and ‘Jet Fuel’, for next-day delivery after Bitcoin payment.

Hours after the Mail contacted Professor Green’s publicist for comment about a video of him promoting the site, Stonechester removed the footage, up since December 2018.

The company also altered its Instagram username twice: eventually, to stoneyymontanaa. This was in apparent effort to prevent deletion, but retain its massive following.

It succeeded in this tactic and continues to promote high-strength marijuana products to its more than 18,000 subscribers. The company encourages Instagram users to send a message to the Instagram account and request a link to Telegram. Telegram is available for schoolchildren.

Meta said: ‘Buying and selling drugs is strictly against our rules and we’ve removed these accounts. To keep pace with changing trends, we work closely with the law enforcement and constantly improve our technology. Between July and September we removed 1.8million pieces of drug sales content from Instagram, over 97 per cent, before it was reported to us.’

Meta also added that users searching on Instagram for drug-related terms were shown a warning message. This link takes them to Frank’s drug advice website.