Pubdate: Fri, 09 Dec 2005
Source: Chilliwack Progress (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 The Chilliwack Progress
Author: Byron Bidiuk


I was forced to sit in on a lecture about crystal meth the other day.
An instructor of one of my psychology courses thought it would be a
good idea to make attendance at this lecture mandatory. This isn't my

We learned all about meth. We learned how to make it, who uses it, how
to use it, and even how much money is made in the industry. Instead of
deterring people from anything and everything meth, the lecture seemed
like a perfect advertisement for getting into the drug trade.

For instance, did you know the profit margin is 280 per cent? That's a
lot of money. How many people can honestly say they spend 30 or 40
cents on something and turn around to sell it for $10? Can we
seriously compare low-income jobs and minimum-wage jobs in slave-like
institutions to a trade where someone spends around $100 to make large
quantities of meth and in return makes around $2,800?

If I were an unemployed and struggling person, or a student without a
future, or anyone whose future seemed bleak, the idea of the meth
industry would be very appealing. What's this-am I supporting the drug

No. In fact, the person who gave the lecture, who has been asked to
fill very big shoes on a health committee, was supporting the drug
trade by describing it to a T. The overall message was this: if you
want an example of good business, look at the meth trade. Not only did
it sound like good business, what that says about business in general
I'll leaveup to you to infer, but the makers of meth sound like they
deserve the Nobel prize for science.

There is a highly controlled substance importedfrom China and it costs
something like $20,000 or $30,000. But wait, the technicians of a meth
lab can make this from underneath your sink. Show me some fancy
scientist strutting his doctorate around who can do this.

This is a very dangerous thing, crystal meth. However, among the many
issues I have with the lecture and with these situations in general, I
was enraged to hear the concluding lines of the lecture: "And
remember, people aren't the problem, crystal meth is the problem."

This wouldn't have been so bad if everyone didn't start clapping. But
someone has to draw the line somewhere and I firmly draw it here. As a
student of sophistry, bad rhetoric makes me angry. When an anti-meth
lecture appears as a business example for aspiring business students,
that's fine. But when someone stands in front of me, after wasting
almost two hours of my time, and says that people aren't the problem,
that's not fine.

Somehow, someway, magic I suppose, we have forgotten ourselves in this
equation. We have forgotten that those people made the decision to do
drugs, those 12-year-old girls the lecturer was talking about chose to
do meth, and guess what, all those people she showed us on
screen-chose to do meth as well.

By placing the responsibility onto the drug itself, we are
reciprocating the contemporary notion that nobody isresponsible for
anything. We are feeding the monster of buck-passing (which defines
ourgeneration)while waving a righteous andworn-outflag in its face. We
have forgotten that people made the drugs, people sell the drugs, and
more importantly, people do the drugs. Does the crystal meth bag
jangle around to Christmas tunes screaming "here kitty-kiddies, come
and have fun with me!" No, it doesn't. Is crystal meth a naturally
occurring drug in the wilderness? No.

People are the problem. People who make meth; People who sell meth;
People who do meth. If we don't start taking responsibility this will
get out of control and take over. After what I've seen, maybe that's
not such a bad thing.

Byron Bidiuk
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin