I never thought the portrayal of drug dealers via the media would influence anyone. Let’s face it, we’re dealing with a dead-end career, literally. How could anyone even consider it as a career option?
On Tuesday, I met a young man who thinks it is a great career option, either that or being a stock broker. He is a very immature 19-years-old, having been living on his own for the past five years, two of those in juvenile and a group home, then jail. He is now living with a family who has, since January, shelled out at least $10,000 to keep him out of jail, and give him a second chance. They can ill afford it.
The young man in question will be called A. His birth mother did not want him. He and his brother were given to a highly abusive adopted family. They were taken away from them, and given to another adopted family. The new mother wanted the brother, but not A. The situation, according to a friend, was heart-breaking, with threats of and physical violence. The brother has turned out well. Wanting to get rid of him, the step-mother turned him in to the cops for dealing drugs. He was fourteen. He was caught with morphine, pain meds, and pot. Someone had to have supplied him with the drugs. His intention was, according to what he told me, to sell them and get rich.
When he turned 18 he was forced to leave the group home where he was living. He had a month left in high school. Now homeless, he quit school. In January, he led the cops on a merry chase, two headlights burned out of his vehicle. He also had just enough pot on him to send him back to jail – as an adult.
His current keepers are trying to keep him out of trouble. It does not help that something fishy is going on and he cannot afford an attorney. His ‘mother’ figure is going to start dealing with his court appointed lawyer, herself. He currently needs about $400 to deal with outstanding warrants dealing with the arrest, and failure to appear at a hearing. He did not get the letter telling him to appear. His adopted mother refused to accept his mail and sent everything back to the sender. For this, which can be proven, he’s now due to go back to jail.
The kid is stupid. He wants to sell drugs and get rich. If he’s rich he won’t have problems.
If you sell drugs you get rich.
You end up dead.
Not if you are smart.
What about learning a career in the trades?
I didn’t finish high school.
We’re going to work on that.
He wants to be an auto mechanic, but they don’t make as much money as drug dealers. I told him the starting pay for mechanics at local dealerships is between $34-$40/hour.
How much is that a day?
I’m not good at math.
It’s pushing $300 a day.
Multiply that times five.
Five times three is fifteen.
Oh. That’s nearly $1500 a week.
How many weeks in a year are there?
So, you’re looking at nearly a hundred thou a year – legal. You do pay taxes if it’s legal.
What do big time mechanics make?
Do you like fast cars?
Who works on them?
Do you know what they do with fast cars?
Oh. They make big money.
They can also pass a pee test and are not in trouble with the law.
The next step is getting the kid the right kind of help and getting him a future. I told him he is one of those people who can either be very good or is going to turn out very bad and spend the rest of his life in prison. Local law authorities seem to want to help him down this slippery path, making everything as difficult as possible for him.
The bottom line is that, evidently, the drug culture does make a big impression on young people who have no one to teach them values. This is what Hollywood has done, glorifying it. How many lives have they destroyed?