The Truth About Super Strength Mandy

Back Room

Why have Ecstasy deaths in the UK quintupled in the last seven years? What can be done about it?

Ecstasy is cheaper, stronger, more abundant and more dangerous than ever. Mike Power spent six months on an undercover investigation to find out why... Travelling to China last summer to carry out a sting on a chemicals plant, Power reveals his untold story of this operation.

Mike Power is a British freelance investigative journalist specialising in drugs and technology.

His book Drugs 2.0 was published in 2013, and documented a new digital frontline in the war on drugs. It was the first book to document how users and dealers have outmanoeuvred law enforcement and created a global, online black market in narcotics.

His reports around the emergence of so-called legal highs recreational drugs manufactured in Chinese laboratories that are legal in most countries have prompted complex policy debates in the UK and beyond.

His "Drugs Unlimited" report for documented an undercover mission to produce and import a new, legal drug, using only a laptop, won the 2014 British Science Writers Association's prize for the best investigative journalism.

An advocate of urgent drug law reform, Power offers colorful reportage and research on this topic, whether infiltrating clandestine labs in Shanghai, jungle clearings in Phnom Penh or treks through Colombian coca fields.

Through talks with Dutch and English Ecstasy smugglers, British political experts and dark web cryptomarket drug dealers, Power argues the case for a wide-ranging and radical rethink of all drug laws in the digital age.

Mike Power has reported extensively from Panama and Colombia for Reuters, and his clients include The Guardian, Vice, Mixmag,, Deutsche Welle, The Mail On Sunday, The Sunday Herald, Lonely Planet, Dazed & Confused, Granta, The London Evening Standard, Playboy and many more.

Venue: Cafe 1001
Doors: 7pm / Talk starts: 7.30pm.

*Please see venue website for admission (age restrictions) or accessibility information. Our talks may be filmed for promotional purposes.


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