the Emmitsburg Coalition to Prevent Drug Abuse Take 3
Jack Deatherage, Jr.'s
I actually learned something
about drugs that I didn't already know. I was also surprised
at the last ECPDA meeting when more than 3 people showed up to
listen to the police explain the how, when, what and where of
drug enforcement. There may have been 20 people? Many new
What really caught my
attention was the cop's explanation of how he must conduct
himself when he is targeting a suspected drug dealer/pusher.
It used to be I would see 4 or 6 state trooper cars parked in
pairs at different ends of Emmitsburg. I would tell someone I
knew to be using drugs that a bust was coming down and they
would spread the word rather quickly among our dealing
acquaintances. I don't recall any of my drinking/doping
buddies getting busted by the state police, but I watched a
couple of drug raids take out some young adults who were very
stupid in their dealings. The cop explained how those raids
were conducted and why he isn't doing them now.
Evidently some elected
official (my speculation, the cop merely said the laws were
changed) was either busted or had family members and/or close
friends nailed for dope dealing. (I've noticed that anytime
something works it is a safe bet our lawmakers will "fix" it.)
Sometime during the Peoples
Party control of the state, it was decided a warrant for a
drug raid could no longer be issued simply because a
significant number of people, many of them known drug users,
were visiting a location that housed a suspected dealer/pusher
for short periods of time (like, long enough to buy some weed,
powder or pills). The new and improved law required someone to
enter the suspected drug den, make a purchase and present it
to the police. Then the search warrant could be written! Of
course this puts the dope buyer/informant at serious risk, but
it also cuts down on the number of drug arrests and
over-crowding of our prisons and courts. The latter can carry
on the serious business of making lawyers wealthy by way of
harassment suits and idiots fighting over who has to take the
kids and who gets to keep the dog.
I'm not much concerned about
people using drugs illegally. The adult potheads I know use
marijuana to medicate themselves. Few people are willing to do
the work that might make them a "better" person if a pill or a
joint can bring them peace now. Our society encourages this
mentality. Overweight? Try this pill! Have a temper problem?
Are you depressed, or do you think you are depressed? Have you
tried this pill? Do you suffer indigestion (from eating foods
you know cause the problem)? Use this pill so you can enjoy
Hardly anyone urges us to
change our habits to improve our lives because it hurts to
When my average intake of
alcohol was 18 cans of beer at a sitting, and 30 cans when I
had the money, I was in a state of almost constant hangover,
which kind of put me in a bad mood. The bad mood grew worse as
my binge drinking grew greater. Someone suggested I try
marijuana to reduce the hangovers. I did and it didn't. But
another someone had told me that pot numbed him. Left him
aware of what was happening around him, but took the edge off
the need to do anything about it. He suggested I use pot for
BINGO! My world could be
going down the crapper around me, the hangovers magnifying it,
if not causing it. A couple of hits on a pipe or joint, a
couple of minutes for the numbing to take hold and I could
wade through the garbage of my life, doing the things that
needed done, not giving a damn about all the rest of it. The
illegality of using the drug didn't bother me. I knew cops who
smoked it. It was certainly easy enough to get, but expensive
in the small amounts I used.
The downside (there is ALWAYS
a downside) the drug did not FIX anything! It allowed me to
ignore all the warnings my body and mind were screaming at me.
The binge drinking was wrecking my mind, which wasn't too
stable to begin with, and leaving me shaking and sick for days
after a good drunk. The marijuana took the mental edge off the
hangovers and gave me the choice of bingeing again without so
much suffering afterward.
If I'd started using pot
sooner I might still be using today. But I had already decided
the binge drinking had to stop. The pleasure I got from being
drunk no longer outweighed the pain of the hangovers. Just
like tobacco, the alcohol went by the wayside. The marijuana
went with it.
Unlike the marijuana and
tobacco I'm using alcohol again. Not much, but use it I do.
Maybe 6 ounces at the end of a day. Not every day, but when I
want a warm glow in my belly and a slight buzz as I close my
eyes. The aches and pain of the day slowly numbing as I drift
So I'm a hypocrite? Look the
word up. I don't think I've written anywhere that drugs
shouldn't be used by people as they please. I have written
that some people use them and abuse them, myself included. I
also don't think our elected officials are any better at
determining what is good for us than we are, though they
certainly think they know better than we do! (After all, the
few of us who bother to vote are often simple enough to think
someone else can fix our problems for us.)
It took me 10 years of binge
drinking to come to my senses. My wife got drunk once in her
life and figured out that alcohol was to be respected!
Different people, different paths to the same conclusion. Life
is like that. All the upbringing in the world, all the
lectures and explanations don't mean nothing compared to
Which is not to say everyone
should get drunk or try heroine. There are good reasons to
avoid drugs in general and we do have laws that attempt to
lessen the damage done by those who have to experience things
for themselves. I admire the young adult who can hear that
alcohol can be used to destroy a life and/or lives, and
decides never to touch it. On the other hand help should be
given a drunk who's decided enough is enough. The same applies
to all drugs or "habits" we tend to try.
I've never seen a drug
destroy anyone. Everyone I've watched go down, went down
because they chose that path. It isn't even arguable. We
choose how we live. And we create the society that allows such
easy access to drugs.
For those looking down their
snouts at we lesser mortals, be careful. If the Xians are
correct in their belief of God and his rules, many (if not all
of you) are more doomed than the habitual drunk or doper you
so contemptuously sneer at. And you idiot "do gooders" who
"blame the drug, not the user", you too should someday suffer
for enabling users to continue using long after they've asked
for help. And those who make a living either dealing/pushing
or all those who claim to be trying to control the use of
drugs- Well, I do hope there is a Xian hell waiting for you.
Because I see no difference between those, on either side, who
are making money off the users.
Drugs make us feel good.
There is no other reason for using them. If you can't deal
with that fact and figure out an alternative- then you're
blowing smoke and wasting everyone's time and money.
And if you think there is no
problem in Emmitsburg, or Thurmont, or Harney, or Taneytown,
or any other place people gather- then you're either well
sheltered, or a fool. (I'm betting on- FOOL!)
When we got into office,
the thing that surprised me most was that things were as bad
as we'd been saying they were. -John F Kennedy
Take I, Take II
Other Articles by Jack Deatherage, Jr.