It occurred to me just the other day that somewhere, probably within just a few blocks of my home, people were buying and selling drugs. This is a somewhat generous notion, since I am relatively certain that that radius could be drawn to just outside my front gate. Up until somewhat recently, we had a young man who sold marijuana from the apartment just over our fence, much to his mother's consternation. When he was taken away, the neighborhood breathed a sigh of relief, because once he was gone, so was the traffic and the late night arguments and the slamming of doors and all the attendant business that comes from such a business.
It's easy for me now, with the distance of a couple of decades of sobriety to be quietly judgmental of such goings-on. The truth is, back when I drank and took drugs, I didn't buy them very often. Okay, I bought the beer, but the rest of those illicit substances floated around in a netherworld that I was generally afraid to access. Picking up a gram of this or an ounce of that was left for friends who were more connected and courageous than I. That doesn't mean that I didn't participate. I spent a number of anxious nights, having handed a wad of bills to a relative stranger with the hopes that he would return with the goods. You've heard of "honor among thieves," well this was "trust among users." For those years that I spent getting high, it did not occur to me what the ancillary fallout might be for my recreational purchases.
Now it does. I'm a homeowner. I'm a dad. I'm a grownup. That experience seems so distant to me now. What makes it even more curious to me is that if I still lived in Colorado, I could be buying pot legally, just like I used to cart home those twelve packs of Miller Lite on Friday night. Over there in the Centennial State they can't keep pot-infused candies, cookies and sodas on the shelves. It's cute. It's legal. I wonder if it's any fun anymore.