Friday, June 05, 2009
Hello! It's Friday! Yay!
I'm going to send you to two places for entertainment, but if you stick around for a bit, I have something for you to read here, too.
First, go to The Boomer Chronicles. Rhea just celebrated her 51st birthday. For her present, I am directing a few folks her way. If you'd be kind enough to wish her a happy birthday, that would be nice. Of course, her place has all sorts of interesting links and articles, mostly concerning life as a Boomer (age 50-and-up, I suppose.) Enjoy!
Second, I have a new piece up at The Talkback Button. Please go there and leave comments that will let my boss know that you love me dearly.
Now, on to a self-serving screed.
Fat, Frumpy, And Fifty - a very nice woman with a very nice blog - had some misgivings concerning my writings about drugs and dealing. I hope I'm not misrepresenting her if I edit her comment to what I feel is the gist of it. The complete comment may be found in the comments section HERE.
"...addiction I get... I have a problem with dealing though. I don't want to get into it. You stopped dealing and using. Hat off and all that. I know how hard it can be for some to kick an addiction. But dealing. well it hurts others. You can never be sure.
It so frightens me. As a Mum, I cannot detach from that.
I read with interest. But its like their is something caught in my throat and it irks me."
I will try to elucidate concerning some of my feelings on the matter. All further comment - positive or negative - is welcome, of course. However, personal insult directed at me or my readers will not be tolerated and will be deleted.
Marijuana, which is the thing we dealt 95% of the time, is utterly non-addictive physically. Yes, as with anything (a good TV show, sex, milk) there is always the possibility of dependency, but no physical addiction whatsoever. In other words, if it's not available to be used, there will be no physical withdrawal - shakes, hallucinations, whatever. You gave up nicotine, which is harder to kick than heroin, so you know about physical withdrawal. None of that with marijuana.
The other drugs we sometimes dealt (putting aside the angel dust for the moment) were also non-addictive in a physical sense.
Now, let's talk about what happens mentally with these substances. Each individual's body chemistry, and reaction to ingestion of anything, will be different. Some people eat chocolate and feel very good after doing so. Some people eat chocolate, enjoy the taste, and not much else happens. Same with marijuana, lsd, mescaline, or mother's milk. Some folks will enjoy the experience and have no lasting after-effect. Some will have a bad experience and never do it again. A few, unfortunately, have very bad experiences, including lasting psychoses. Some might kill themselves, some might die (again, though, I wish to stress that marijuana has no known lethal toxicity level. You cannot overdose and die as a direct result of ingesting marijuana.)
Now, as I clearly stated, angel dust is a hideously dangerous drug. Had I known how hideous then, I wouldn't have touched the stuff or sold it. However, with the batch of it I talked about, we realized how bad the stuff was and offered everybody their money back. As I recall, we had a few takers on that offer, but some smoked it and enjoyed it. Every person we sold to was still walking around afterward. This was the only thing we did that I have any feeling of regret about, but it luckily turned out to be unregrettable in the long run, anyway.
I facilitated people's recreational use of illegal substances. The illegality of these substances is the only thing that bothers me about it, and by that I mean that they should NOT be illegal. If the substances were legal and subject to governmental inspection, the incidence of overdose - via those substances on which a person is able to overdose - would be no more than alcohol, in my opinion much less. But, even when illegal, I sold only what the people buying wanted. They were happy to get it, I was happy to sell it, a good time was had by most. The great majority of drug users know a fair bit about what they're ingesting - there's a pretty good pipeline for knowledge among that community - so we always assumed that knowledge, or availability of same, to be present. Personally, I studied up everything, and so did my partners. If anyone had any questions, we were happy to provide detailed answers.
This is quite long, but I could write a book and still go on. Here's the main point worth considering: There are dealers and there are pushers. A pusher's modus operandi is to get people addicted and then bleed them dry. He'll give a bargain or a freebie at first, knowing that addiction will eventually overtake some, at which point he'll make it back in spades. And pushers don't care about their customers, except to the extent that the money keeps coming in. If someone dies, that's an unfortunate loss of an asset, but otherwise unremarkable. We were dealers. We only sold when asked by others. If nobody asked for what we had, we didn't force it on them. And (again, excluding the angel dust incident) we believed - and I still believe - that we sold nothing but physically benign goods. Mental effects? Hey, that's why people buy drugs; to have a different perspective. It was not our duty to give everyone a thorough psychological evaluation before selling, anymore than it's the responsibility of a movie producer to test everyone for murderous tendencies before allowing them to see a Freddy Krueger film.
I'm sorry if anyone is bothered by my attitude regarding these things, but I won't be a hypocrite about it. When I was selling, I believed it was a service being provided by someone who really was trying to deliver good stuff at reasonable prices to people who wanted what I had and were not in any way pressured into buying it. When I've been on the buying side, that's how I've expected my dealers to be, too. And when I was addicted, it was my own damn fault, not anybody else's.
I don't know if this will assuage some of the feelings you have or not, but it's my truthful stance on the whole subject.
And that's all for now. Softball and other non-threatening topics will be discussed on Monday.
Soon, with more better stuff.