Last weekend, a new magazine appeared in Copenhagen. Illegal!
is a quarterly publication about drugs, sold by drug addicts in order to fund their drug addiction. Two thirds of the total sale price (about $5) goes to the seller to spend on heroin, which Michael Lodberg Olsen—the publisher and the man behind Denmark's mobile heroin injection units
—believes is a far better alternative to the lives of crime and prostitution that users are inevitably forced into elsewhere.
His logic is pretty foolproof, but we thought we'd find out what the magazine's target customers think by asking them a question: Would you buy the magazine that funds heroin use?
Hilde, 28: Yes, I think it's a good idea. There have been similar initiatives for years where I’m from in Norway, and they were great successes. It’s a great opportunity for the drug addicts to work and earn their own money.
It doesn't bother you that they're buying heroin with that money?
What they want to use their money on is up to them.
Marcus, 24: Yes. I think it would be fucking hypocrisy not to support it. The magazine is a great alternative to them having to abuse themselves to get money.
Would you buy it even if the articles were shitty?
I haven’t had the chance to read it yet, but yes, I would. I'd still think it was a good idea.
Julie, 22: In some ways, it’s a good concept. It’s an "honest" way of making the money for heroin instead of getting it from elsewhere. No matter what, they have to maintain their addiction, and the money has to come from somewhere. Of course, it depends on how great the content is. I wouldn’t just buy it as charity—I’d want something for my money.
Alexander, 28: No. There are so many alternatives in Copenhagen, like fixing rooms and legal medicinal substitutes, so I wouldn’t support drug abuse this way.
What do you think of other people buying it?
I wouldn’t stop someone from buying it. I mean, if they know where the money goes, it’s up to them.
Michael, 28: It’s a great alternative to The Big Issue, which I don’t support because a huge amount of the cut just goes to the magazine.
You don't buy The Big Issue?
I usually just give the seller some money for his or her own pockets.
Jacqueline, 22: It’s a fucking great idea. The only alternative is crime, and if we can avoid that by buying a magazine, it’s great. I definitely support it.