Just Say No: Seriously, Don’t Buy Drugs
Don’t do it
My freshman year at my progressive liberal arts college known for attracting and incubating precocious, politically aware young intellectuals, I was enraged to discover that some of the cool kids smoked cigarettes. “You hate the people you’re enriching, you hypocrites,” I wanted to say to them. “You’re actively fighting them in every other area of your lives. Why are you pouring your money into their pockets?”
I didn’t. I hung out with other people instead, found friend-groups whose values I considered more consistent. And I thought about that when I read this chilling, extremely well-expressed plea to Americans everywhere, but especially the more affluent and ostensibly socially conscious ones: Stop buying drugs, you hypocrites. You are profiting off of, and encouraging, the suffering of others.
Mario Berlanga, the author, is originally from northern Mexico where, he writes, “everyone has a heartbreaking story of how the drug trade has damaged his life.”
Rolling at a party, getting high at a concert — these aren’t victimless crimes. You might think the only person you’re hurting is yourself. You’re wrong.
Americans must recognize that every time they buy illegal drugs they reward the cartels. If you think one person’s consumption is too small to make a difference, consider that $100 — what a recreational cocaine user might spend on a single weekend — buys the cartels 500 rounds of ammunition; $500 buys a new AR-15 rifle; $700 covers the monthly salary of one of their gunmen.
Without the vast profits from the drug trade, cartels would be infinitely less powerful, and our governments could neutralize them.
If you use illegal drugs, even just occasionally, please reconsider. Lives are at stake.
Despondent? You don’t have to go cold turkey! Marijuana is increasingly legal and easy to obtain in several American states, and hey, a lot of it is even local and sustainably raised. Pot is, apparently, the #1 cash crop in California. Support your neighborhood farmers! Put Americans to work! You can get high without getting actual human beings killed in the process.
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