The Last Time I Got High…

The last time I got high was in 1992, I drank like half a 40oz at a party. I’ve only been intoxicated about 5 or 6 times in my life, every time it was alcohol. Hood alcohol like Boonies, MD 20/20, Cisco, and Malt Liquor. That’s what the folks around me was drinking.

The only reason I got up to 5 or 6 times is because it was such a horrible experience, I though I was doing it wrong. I thought, “it can’t be this bad to drink or get drunk or so many people would not do it.” By the final time I drank, I decided that was more than enough.

In my early life I was always around drugs, drug addicts, drug dealers, and drug paraphernalia, legal and illegal. I had decided by the time I was 8 years old that I’d never partake in drugs. When I drank it was because of simple peer pressure but I knew my indulgence was transient, I never intended to be a regular drinker.

I never got a chance to be the slightest bit curious about drugs because I was born into that shit. I lived with crack-heads and alcoholics. I know the consequence of causal use and abuse, I decided to keep my distance

Once I was offered a chance to be a look out for a dope house for $50 a night, which was a shit load of money for a 13 year old in the ghetto at that time. The dude used to see me and my man Rip up and down the streets all hours of the night, and asked us,“how the yall kids out and free at 2am on a school night?” So this enterprising hustler, thought to put us to work, I said yes at first but then chickened out. We were supposed to meet the dude outside a local grocery store, and he’d drive us to the dope houses.

Rip really needed the money, his mother was a hardcore crack addict and they didn’t have shit, no heat, no lights, no furniture, no food, no toothpaste, nothing, and it was him, his mother, and his 6 year old brother. So he saw the opportunity as a blessing, I had my grandmother who took me in when my mother went “on that end,” so I wasn’t as desperate.

My grandmother kept us in church, food, shelter, and clothing, not the best clothing best she took damn good care of me, my sister, and my little brother after raising her own 6 children on her own. Shit, she even got me and me into Catholic School to keep outta trouble.

So having a support base allowed my to decide that it wasn’t worth the risk. When I told Rip he almost cried, he knew if I didn’t go the deal was dead, the dude really wanted me because he though I was sharp, and not as wild as other dudes my age, Rip was a wild dude and very prone to risk. Rip even threaten to stab me with a little pocket knife he carried if I tried to leave the meet up spot before our ride came, but I just kept waking away from him.

Rip didn’t get that “job” but he eventually got a foot into the game and even started his own little “cartel,” that’s what he called it, his crew N.O.W. (Ni@@as on Woodland) was a cartel. I always kinda laugh when I think of that.

Rip eventually went from selling to using, to shooting and being shot at, ending up in a coma from a stab wound to the heart, losing contact with most of his several children with several women, etc.

So even though I don’t do drugs, drugs deeply impact my life, I have suffered from drug abuse and addiction, and all the violence and dysfunction that accompanies it.

Drug addiction is a disease, and often an attempt to self-medicate for some other unaddressed affliction. The Drug War is the problem, the government and corporations are what drive all of the violence and harm caused by drugs, legal and illegal. We have to address this problem from the top down.

I was thinking about all this when Obama commuted the sentences for 8 inmate who were up on drug evictions, I was happy to hear that, and at the same time enraged at how long it took and how few were freed.

We’ve been fighting each other over the drug issue since the 70s, time to identify the real Drug Problem, which is criminalization of a public health issue, and the overwhelming despair that this system generates in its citizens that drive them to drug abuse.