You all think of me as the worst possible human being– a drug dealer. Most of you invest all your hate and resentment for your loved one’s addiction on me.
Every arrest is celebrated like some progress has been made in the war on drugs. What a joke. All of us “dealers” are products of demand. Once one of us is arrested, or killed, hundreds more are there to take our place.
How did I end up a dirty drug dealer? I have a mom and a dad, a sister and a brother who love me. And they are ashamed of what I have become. And you know what? So am I.
I was 19 and doing dabs and got addicted. It’s just marijuana right? But I couldn’t stop.
At first, the selling was about supporting my habit. The big shots started asking if I wanted to sell something harder and kept telling me what a great salesman I was. I liked feeling important because my self esteem was in the toilet. I was an easy target.
It went from selling some pills to peddling the hard stuff. What got me here? In the human trafficking world, they call it grooming. Scared and frightened, untangling and figuring my way out met with threats to my life.
A lot of these dudes, mostly guys, that are selling have grown up with nothing and dealing was a way out of poverty. There is so much money although my cut was pathetic. Some of these dudes are really messed up–probably beaten as kids or something worse. Their parents were addicts or got shot and were used to smelling crack at breakfast instead of bacon. Some of them are angry all the time and damn scary.
There are many others like me. Kids who played baseball with your son, lived on your cul-de-sac, ate grilled cheese sandwiches and played nintendo at your house.
After my arrest, the prosecutor pressured me for a deal to shorten my sentence. Call me lucky because the guy who was selling with me, ended up with six bullets and bled out in the middle of the street.
They wanted bigger fish than me. But would those dealer dudes kill me later? Not like there was much choice.
There was so much hate in the court room and newspapers directed at me. I wanted to scream to my mom, “I’m the same little boy you packed lunches for!” I do love them but this is no way to show it. Mom was crying, my dad looked like he had permanent creases in his forehead. He stared at the floor and ended up walking out. My siblings didn’t show. It crushed me. I was struggling to understand how it ended up this bad when my plan had been to go to engineering school.
Now my mom and dad get calls that say, “Collect from central penitentiary, do you accept the charges?”
It’s not all bad guys and good guys. It’s not that simple. You still think we’re the problem? Keep telling yourself that because that way you don’t have to change your attitude and see your part in all this. Because you need someone to blame and point your finger at. And that usually lands on people like me
The evil drug dealer, once the kid down the street who loved red popsicles.