Marc Lamarre and Jamey Singleton

February 20, 2006

Damn. It must be the weather.

Not one, but two WSLS (Channel 10) meteorologists — Marc Lamarre and Jamey Singleton — have struggled with a heroin addiction in recent months, according to an interview with Singleton that aired on WSLS’s late-night newscast Friday.

"Anyone can fall into this," Singleton said. "It’s hard, it’s a disease and it’s been rough."

Singleton said he has undergone therapy for his dependency and feels as if he has conquered it for the most part.

"You never recover, I don’t think," he said, "but I’ve put the beast to sleep, so to speak."

Singleton said the toughest part of his ordeal was finding out that his friend and neighbor, Lamarre, 36, suffered a near-fatal heroin overdose on the evening of Feb. 2. Lamarre is recovering, according to WSLS, but he is no longer employed with the station.

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  1. cruious_mom says:

    This was devastating news to my family, as we only watch WSLS, and Jamie and Marc are exceptional weather-men. Both men had, in the past, been very active in a lot of different community events, always volunteering to give their time to any good cause.
    I guess this just goes to show that no matter who you are, or what background you come from, drugs can and will continue to destroy lives, if a person chooses not to seek help.
    It’s great that Jamie has sought help, and we hope and pray that Marc will be ok and do the same. It would be a shame for the lives of these 2 to forever be destroyed because of a habit that many choose to continue, even after a life or death event.

  2. johnny says:

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. loser

  3. Without Marc Lamarre and Jamey Singleton, the public likely never would have heard of Chad Honaker and Gilbert Hadden.
    The February overdose of Lamarre, then a meteorologist at WSLS (Channel 10), linked the names of all four men in the public spotlight. After Lamarre’s overdose on prescription medications, the public learned the details of his and Singleton’s heroin addictions.
    And it learned the names of their suppliers, Chad Honaker and Gilbert Hadden.
    But last week, it was Honaker and Hadden who pleaded guilty in federal court to drug charges. Each of the charges to which Honaker, 33, and Hadden, 21, pleaded guilty carries up to 20 years in prison.
    Lamarre and Singleton have not been charged and presumably are going on with their lives. The U.S. Attorney’s Office would not comment last week, saying the case remains under investigation.
    Lamarre left the station shortly after his overdose. Singleton, publicly repentant for his drug abuse, remains on the air as a WSLS meteorologist.
    The case illustrates, as one reader wrote me earlier this year, “our supply-side focus in what we call our war on drugs.” In other words, the perception that low-level, nickel-and-dime drug peddlers are more likely to be casualties than the users who keep them in business.
    The case also raises issues of class and race in how the war on drugs is being prosecuted. Lamarre and Singleton are both white, educated men. Honaker is a blue-collar white man from rural Bedford County; and Hadden, who lives in Roanoke, is a black man from Detroit.
    “We’re inclined to talk about drugs as a victimless crime,” said University of Virginia law school professor Anne Coughlin. “Everyone’s a willing participant. The dealer is a willing seller, and the user is a willing buyer.
    “Who among these people should we view as culpable? Who is a victim?” she added.
    The conflicting local perceptions of drug abusers were obvious to me when the case became big news in February.
    One reader e-mailed me, angry that I had noted the outpouring of public support for Lamarre compared with the anonymous struggles of recovering women addicts in a local program.
    “There’s just a double standard,” Coughlin said.
    Other readers insisted that Lamarre was part of the problem.
    Coughlin said society tends to be more tolerant “when rich or high-profile people get in trouble.” She said that their supporters believe public embarrassment is their punishment, their hurt.
    “Going to jail hurts a heck of a lot more,” Coughlin said.
    As far as the public knows, Lamarre and Singleton were never caught with drugs in their possession, which likely played a role in why they haven’t been charged. Honaker cooperated with authorities and rolled on Hadden.
    Still, the case illustrates concerns about how the war on drugs is being waged in this country.
    “We can’t lock up all the people who are using drugs,” Coughlin said. “We’ve got to make choices. Members of the community are very wise to look at the choices being made.”
    Shanna Flowers’ column appears Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.