I’ve been thinking about drug usage for a while and never had a chance to have an open conversation with anyone for a long time until recently.
I wondered for a long time if the drug users think about the background of the drug they use or not. If people thought about the others who are killed/injured and families destroyed behind the scenes. I question if they thought about what happens to people who risk their lives for so little gain while the cartels take the most significant cut.
The wondering is not a judgment. Not an accusation. It is curiosity. I have many friends who occasionally use drugs, and I love each one of them. They are always thoughtful and will offer others help when it is needed the most. And that puzzles my mind.
Why don’t great people think about the background of drugs?
It’s not that they don’t know what’s going on. There are hundreds of documentaries, daily news on TV and in newspapers, and even various TV series (e.g., Narcos—its first season was the most popular TV show on Netflix when it was released). Everybody knows Pablo Escobar's name and what he has done over the years.
The problem is not the knowledge; it is awareness and mindfulness, I believe. I asked, “Have you thought about the background of the drug, about people dying and suffering?” one of my friends. They answered, “I’ve never thought about it until you said it.” It was the answer I expected. It looks like they are buying drugs like they are buying meat from the supermarket. It’s not the same as adults who are ignorant of where the food comes from. I know that my friends are not ignorant. They know what’s going on behind the scenes. They just don’t think about it. Never. Because they don’t immediately see the result of their actions. What they see is not the reality.
Additionally, using drugs—I believe—is being cool and rebellious, feeling relaxed and high, and trying to suppress daily stress, nothing more. I had a few discussions long ago with a few rebellious friends who were smoking marijuana. Their arguments gathered around smoking marijuana being less harmful than smoking cigarettes. They want to legalize marijuana because of that as well. This situation doesn’t show that marijuana should be legal; it shows that cigarettes should be illegal. I’m saying that as a past smoker. I smoked cigarettes for seven years. And as much as I hate any kind of restriction, that should be the way.
I don’t support any restrictions that are being done to impact personal choice. Everyone is free to do whatever they want to do to their bodies. However, the line starts when actions harm others. When you smoke cigarettes, you harm others. When you use cocaine, you harm others. It’s no different than the other. If your action hurts someone else on the way, then it has to be stopped.
If I stop any drug user in Berlin or Hamburg, ask them, “Would you kill someone?” I’m 100% sure all of them will be shocked by the question and answer with “Absolutely not! Are you crazy?” Yet, with every line they do and every joint they roll, many people die behind the scenes.
Disclaimer: I also smoked marijuana a couple of times before. Not only was I not mindful, but also I was ignorant of what was happening behind the scenes at that time.