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Anti-drug group urges British fashion chain to drop Rihanna

London, June 29, 2013, (PTI) 22:00 IST
Reuters File Image.
An anti-drug group has called in River Island's bosses to stop working with Rihanna after the 'Umbrella' hitmaker posted pictures smoking giant rolled-up cigarettes, which appeared to be marijuana.

The campaigners are concerned about children, who see pop star Rihanna as a role model.

Lucy Dawe of the Cannabis Skunk Sense group told Daily Mirror, "She should be dropped by River Island as she's a role model to young children but clearly an appalling one. It is a huge double standard because if River Island were really concerned about the effects of drug use, they wouldn't be supporting someone who is so blatantly using drugs herself."

Paul Jenkins, CEO of charity Rethink Mental Illness, also criticises Rihanna for supporting marijuana legalisation.

"She is reinforcing the myth that cannabis is a 'safe' drug, when in fact it can increase your chances of developing mental illness, especially if you use it when you're young. It's disappointing to see Rihanna normalising cannabis use in this way," Jenkins said.

River Side donated 10,000 pounds to Nicholas Mills Foundation in 2008. The foundation was set to honor a young man, who got addicted to cannabis and heroin and later died of suicide.

River Island's Lewis Family Charitable Trust also donated 4,000 pounds to mental health charity ReThink that campaigns the danger of drugs in 2011.

Rihanna showcased the company's products during London Fashion Week in February, in which she reportedly got paid as much as 800,000 pounds. So far, she has produced two collections. The fashion company declined to comment on the issue.

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