In jail for a joint: Inside Russia’s controversial war on drugs

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A rtyom had been minding his business, waiting for a friend near a metro station in Moscow’s lugubrious suburbs.  The Russian winter had already hung its evening shadow on the city, so the 26-year-old computer technician did not immediately notice the three officers who made their way from the underpass. By the time the men were in sight, it was already too late. Artyom, who had a joint in his top pocket, knew the encounter would not end well – they “never do”. So he ran.

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