Posted by: Blue
The drug trade in our city is likely similar to any other metropolitan area.
"Everyone" has pot. Some people have meth or crack. A few have IV drugs like heroin or morphine. Coke comes and goes in popularity and supply abundance. Ecstasy and other similar pills are generally limited to suburban kids who think that nothing can harm them. Prescription drug abuse and trafficking is a whole other ball of wax that is barely ever investigated. Everything starts at the top with organized crime; gangs.
Being high isn't a crime. Possession is. There are two levels of possession. Personal use (plain old Possession of a Controlled Substance) and then there's Possession for the Purpose (dealing/trafficking). It is also criminal to manufacture controlled substances (growing marijuana or running a meth lab etc.).
Many a time has a police officer taken away a few grams of pot and flushed it or ground it into the mud to dispose of it rather than charge someone with possession. It's not worth the paperwork. The judges are lenient, especially with pot or small amounts of harder drugs. The courts are tied up enough with substantial trafficking charges for more serious substances.
Most people think of Possession as a very weak charge that police use when they are being "dictatorial" and "fascist".
The truth is, we don't care about pot. We care about lives. The truth, is that we see a dark, violent, filthy, dirty, horrible shadow that is cast over the drug trade. The money to be made in drugs means that people are willing to be violent to protect their crop, or their stash, or their payments.
The plain and simple truth, is that drugs = money. Money = guns and other weapons. Weapons = violence. Violence = death.
To most, the drug trade is a movie concept. There's always some kind of South American Cartel Type in a custom suit with an Escalade and a huge villa. He's the bad guy. Police see the other side. The dregs. The end result. The broken lives, the shattered people.
We see the dumb kid who thought he could make some extra money by running dope to different addresses get stomped out to within inches of his life because he was robbed of a big stash of meth. Ironically, it wasn't his robbers that put the boots to him, it was his employers. He may never walk again and he'll be eating through a straw for months, but the dealers sure made their point clear to everyone else on the payroll.
We see the broken marriages. The wife who is choked to death because her husband is coked-out and doesn't know what he's doing. Their 3 children will end up in the sickening foster care system. Hopefully one or two of them will survive it without getting hooked on alcohol or drugs themselves.
We see the grow-op wars between rival gangs. The houses that are burnt to the ground with 4 people inside or shot up with automatic weapons because they are growing pot on someone else's territory.
We see the car wrecks that kill and maim innocent people because someone chose to drive while high. If there are any survivors of the wreck, statistics say it will be the impaired driver. Often he'll say something like "It's not like I was drunk. Weed enhances your observations."
We see the hooker who, at 13 years old is so desperate for another hit of meth that she sells her body to anyone and everyone. We respond to the rape call when she doesn't get paid. We arrest the suspect if we can find him. We charge and process him. We watch him get released from the charges when the victim doesn't show up in court. Sometimes because she is too high to remember what day it is. Sometimes because she is in the hospital after a more violent rape. Sometimes because she has been found dead and mutilated in a dumpster. A child, innocence shattered and then discarded like trash.
Drugs in and of themselves are only really harmful to the person taking them (except for the meth labs that explode).
It's all the fallout that police see that we really hate and want to stop.