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The drugs don’t work

 Megaphone (Canada) 13 May 2019

(Originally published: 05/2010) “I was using drugs from ’69 to ‘72 before finally straightening myself out. This is my story of those years, when I briefly tried my hand at drug dealing." Bob is a vendor for Canadian street paper Megaphone. Here, he shares the story of his youth, laced with drug-taking and dealing. (554 words) - By Bob


Photo courtesy of Alex E. Priomos

Megaphone vendor Bob on his darker, drug dealing days

I was using drugs from '69 to '72 before finally straightening myself out. This is my story of those years, when I briefly tried my hand at drug dealing.

After I admitted to having LSD in my possession, I promised the acting Sergeant and Constable questioning me that I wouldn't use drugs again. It didn't last.

Two days later, I met up with crazy Richard and Maria where we druggies hung out at Park Circle in Transcona, a neighbourhood in Winnipeg. Richard and I decided then that we would become partners in dealing LSD in the summer of 1969. We dreamed about the fancy stereo systems and clothes we'd buy, and of winning women with the profits we'd make.

We weren't alone. We'd be competing against Marc and Brian, acquaintances from Murdock McKay High School. They were in debt, not making much money and eating half their supply of LSD tablets they'd buy each week. It was time for Richard and me to take over. We were also in competition with LSD-heads Wade, Richard and Wayne. These guys were rip-off artists known for selling fake capsules and being constantly high themselves. They weren't nice guys.

Richard and I would go to a house in central Winnipeg called The Diggers, where a group of hippies lived, and we'd buy our acid there. The Winnipeg Police Drug Squad and uniformed officers would bust The Diggers three or four times a year.

Of course I wanted to make money, so I was selling to my brother Stephen's friends. The tough guys in the area, many of whom had turned from bullying to drugs, would buy from us too. Soon, Marc and Brian admitted that they weren't the business types, and it wasn't long before they were buying their drugs from us.

We were doing well until Richard started giving credit to the older, hip bunch in Transcona. We were 16 at the time. Nearly half of them weren't paying. Richard also started dropping one or two tablets every second day. I was using acid rarely, but Richard's way of trying to make friends by giving out credit combined with not a lot of people paying meant we were losing money.

We packed it in. We remained friends, but not close ones. Some of the drug users called him names and said I never should have made friends with him. I had become fed up working with Richard and hung out instead with some of the decent drug heads. Richard didn't like it too much when that started. Soon though, Richard would move away from Transcona out west to Vancouver with his family. When he left, Richard still owed a bit of money through our "business".

It would be a year-and-a- half before I decided that I had had enough of drugs.

If you're smart, don't start taking drugs. There are a lot of reasons not to. The stuff today is more powerful than it was in the 60s and 70s. Drug dealing doesn't work either, as I learned. Young guys think it's a great idea, but most take half the drugs they planned on selling. Even worse, you could get caught up in turf wars. Today, organized gangs run the business.

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