Big problem

‘Tall Cop’ Jermaine Galloway warns Warren County of rapidly-evolving drug game

Times Observer photos by Katie Miktuk Former Boise, Idaho, police officer Jermaine Galloway, aka “Tall Cop,” has made it his mission to travel the country to inform communities and professionals of drug trends on the rise. This time he was at Youngsville Fire Hall.

Tall Cop gave a big message recently to parents and youth of Warren County.

The rapidly evolving drug game presents an ever-growing list of warning signs, drug forms, and paraphernalia that parents and families need to look for in their loved ones.

Former Boise, Idaho, police officer Jermaine Galloway, aka “Tall Cop,” has made it his mission to travel the country to inform communities and professionals of drug trends on the rise. This time he was at Youngsville Fire Hall.

Galloway is in about two to three states per week, training around 50,000 people per year.

Galloway’s presentation, “High in Plain Sight,” was sponsored by the Forest-Warren Mental Wellness Association and hosted by the Youngsville Police Department.

Times Observer photos by Katie Miktuk Drug-related apparel presented by “Tall Cop” Jermaine Galloway.

Being a little bit off of the beaten path of larger cities, 25 years ago, Warren County could have hidden from the current drug epidemic. However, with the growth of the internet and technology, that seclusion is no longer.

“Everything is open and available to you, and it will be here within a couple of days,” said Galloway.

Galloway has made it a point in every state and town he trains in, to take notice of local shops in order to see who may be selling drug referenced apparel and paraphernalia. He specifically makes a point to visit dispensaries within states that have recreationally legalized marijuana sales. He presented some of the clothing lines that exists, among other accessories and stash pockets, and even mentioned he had passed some stores in town that sold such items.

What he was presenting doesn’t even scratch the surface as to what is truly going on within the current drug world.

“It far exceeds everything I’m going to show you significantly, it’s a lot worse,” he said.

Times Observer photos by Katie Miktuk Former Boise, Idaho, police officer Jermaine Galloway, aka “Tall Cop,” has made it his mission to travel the country to inform communities and professionals of drug trends on the rise. This time he was at Youngsville Fire Hall.

Galloway reminded the audience that everything he would be presenting for the evening was person-specific and that not one thing means any one thing.

“Tonight’s session is not just about showing you things, it’s about helping you understand the mentality so if you see something I didn’t show you, you will figure it out,” said Galloway.

Galloway’s next sign to look for visited the dark web. Everything you could want is available on the dark web, including research chemicals, or synthetic drugs.

Galloway pulled up an image of a website from China that can be found on the dark web.

He pointed out that the website claimed they would send you your favorite “RC” vendor, RC standing for research chemicals. Research chemicals are a synthetic or designer drug, in other words, something that is made in a lab. The website even offered discreet shipping.

Synthetic drugs typically arrive in a liquid or powder form and are usually found sprayed on paper or candies. This begs the question, is it pure or is there something else present in it?

We do not know the impact of these drugs on the body, their long term impact or if they may bring on some sort of disease or mental illness.

“This is what I explain to parents if you find something you don’t know and it doesn’t make sense, just look it up, it’s what your kids do,” said Galloway.

A news headline then popped up on the screen reading, “Gummy bears laced with methamphetamine send 6 high school students to the hospital.”

The hypothesis was that one child had brought the gummy bears that were laced with methamphetamine to school and the other children ate them and overdosed. This was not the true case.

“I would assume that if you saw people overdosing off meth, you would not see six people who are falling asleep, sleepy, lethargic or passed out,” said Galloway. “No one’s going to say hey he’s passed out, gotta be meth.”

A week later, authorities made the discovery that the drug was not methamphetamine, but it was, in fact, marijuana that was in the gummy bears. The question is raised, how is someone comparing methamphetamine to marijuana in the same sentence?

This question will be answered later.

Although the gummy bears did not contain methamphetamine, methamphetamine is being found in more “kid-friendly” forms.

No parent would expect to find methamphetamine or ecstasy in a lollipop, but that is one of the recent forms in which the two synthetic drugs have been found.

When Galloway is asked by parents how they can talk to their kids about drugs because when they were young they were doing the same thing, he stops them right there.

Anyone who used a drug 20 years ago, drugs today are different. They are a lot stronger, more potent, have lower price points and are a lot easier to obtain.

The issue then arises, if drugs are stronger and more potent today, that also means they are more addictive.

Galloway then presented an image of a group of young males walking out of a store wearing drug referencing apparel.

One of the males in the image was wearing a shirt with a bull wearing a gas mask on it. Below the image was the line “Windy City” referencing either inhaling or exhaling something. The bull also had bloodshot eyes, symbolizing being high.

“Remember, drug references travel with drug references,” stated Galloway. “Whether it’s on social media, on the person, in a car or sitting on the table.”

He then pointed out a ball cap that one of the other males in the picture was wearing.

The ball cap has been sold for about 20 years and has a little crown in the corner of the front of the hat. This crown symbolizes that there is a stash pocket in the hat.

The hat shown in the image is not the only brand of a ball cap that is putting a stash pocket in their hats. There are several brands sold within the United States that are doing the same thing.

This drug-related apparel is being sold in our everyday shopping malls.

“You have to understand, y’all aren’t supposed to understand his stuff,” said Galloway.

There is a drug culture understanding of this world and then there’s a non-drug culture understanding of this world. There is an entire subculture that exists all around us, in every community, when it comes to drugs.

Galloway then moved on to talking about marijuana.

He presented a photo he had taken in a marijuana dispensary. The photo showed jars of weed with a different name on each jar. The name on each jar represented a different strain of marijuana, and each strain works differently than the others.

“What do you want as a company? You want a brand,” said Galloway. “It is becoming branded with kids.”

He then presented an image of a t-shirt he found in a store that read “Kush Cash King.” He also presented an image of a young lady wearing a “kush” beanie hat.

When looking at marijuana, all strains fall under three classes — indica, sativa or a hybrid of the two.

Indica presents itself as a fat/shortleaf. It causes body high. It causes an individual to be couched locked or sleepy. It can work as a sleep aid and causes an increase in appetite. It can also reduce anxiety and works as a depressant.

Sativa presents as a skinny/tall leaf. It causes a head high. It is known as a daytime strain, causing more energy, creativity and “increase focus.” It can also cause hallucinations. It works as a stimulant.

A hybrid strain is created while growing the plant. A hybrid consists of both the indica and sativa strain and is grower specific.

“If I tell you indica’s potency (in a hybrid) is super high, would it make sense that you could smoke it and pass out? Yes,” said Galloway.

“If I tell you that with sativa potency being super high, would it make sense that you could be paranoid, delusional and look like you’re on methamphetamines of some kind? Yes.”

Marijuana can also be found in edible forms such as cookies, brownies and candies.

Marijuana is also increasingly being found in concentrated forms, including in dabs and vape pens.

The average THC in the ’60s was 3% THC. The average street level today is between 15%-20% THC. Dabs are anywhere between 25%-90% THC and at street level are being cut with heroin and methamphetamines. Dispensaries are selling marijuana between 22%-28% THC. A newer form of marijuana, resembling shards of methamphetamines, is 99% pure THC. Vape forms of marijuana run around 65% THC.

Galloway then returned to the methamphetamine laced gummy bear article that was mentioned earlier where it turned out to be marijuana in the gummy bears.

“If you understand indica, sativa hybrids, it makes sense,” Galloway said. “We’re seeing it in schools, we’re seeing it in overdoses, we’re seeing it in hospitals, ER nurses are seeing it, we are seeing it everywhere.”

The next topic was over the counter cough syrups containing dextromethorphan.

This type of cough syrups is the number one sold in the United States. Dextromethorphan can be found in about 150 different cough syrups. It is what you take when you get a cold, most people have it sitting in their homes right now.

Taking this cough syrup at the recommended dosage in moderation is safe. What we are seeing is people taking an amount exceeding the recommended dosage. The recommended dosage is 15mg-30mg every four hours.

When it is taken in exceeding dosages, it works in the same category as alcohol, LSD, and PCP. It can work as a hallucinogenic and a dissociative anesthetic. Taking this in exceeding amounts can cause cardiac arrest.

The cheapest place to find cough syrup containing dextromethorphan is your local dollar store.

Terms associated with taking exceeding amounts of this drug include skittling, triple c/ccc, robo trippin/robo trip (referencing Robotussin), dexing, tussing/tussin toss (Robotussin) and orange crush (referencing Delsyn).

“I think some kids believe is safe because it is sold over the counter,” said Galloway.

Galloway then presented what is being marketed as a “dex shot,” or a shot of dextromethorphan. This is a 1.6oz shot of 450mg of dextromethorphan. Keep in mind the recommended dosage is 15mg-30mg every four hours.

This is all legal, there are no illegal drugs in this.

Up next, vape pens and cartridges.

Vape pens and cartridges are being marketed for different uses including for nicotine, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamines. The question is, though, what all does the juice mixture contain.

A man in Nebraska was recently pulled over and allegedly found with 5,000 marijuana vape cartridges. That’s the size of trafficking that is occurring in the United States.

Juul pens, the number one vape pen in the United States, is marketed for nicotine. However, it can be hacked and opened in order to put other substances inside of it.

Lastly was the topic of an all natural herbal substance known as kratom, derived from mitragynine. It is marketed as an “herbal painkiller,” but can cause hallucinations, tremors, aggression, and nausea.

Galloway reminded the audience that what he covered does not even scratch the surface. The drug world is rapidly evolving and cannot be predicted.

Sweat the small stuff, said Galloway, when it comes to loved ones because once it becomes big, it will be hard to bring it back under control.