Methamphetamines: Calamity or disaster?

Every morning as I read through the court calendars in the Solano County Hall of Justice, I’m amazed by the number and variety of crimes that have something to do with methamphetamines.

It seems as if every third criminal offense – whether it be fishing without a license or attempted murder – is somehow associated with the use, abuse, transportation or production of the quirky and quite illegal drug.

A somewhat unpredictable stimulant which may or may not contain everything from strychnine to cottage cheese depending upon who cooked it up, meth appears to be the drug-of-choice for anyone contemplating a crime in Solano County.

At least it seems to be a favorite of the ones who get caught, which should tell you something about the overall efficacy of the drug.

Pioneered by the German Luftwaffe during World War II, the drug was supposed to improve the proficiency of their combat pilots. If you remember how World War II ended for the Luftwaffe, that, too, should tell you something about the overall efficacy of methamphetamines.

Red-eyed, twitchy devotees of the substance will tell you it sharpens their senses, makes them more alert and helps them multi-task (you know, like shoplifting while holding up convenience markets on a stolen bicycle).

It’s also a great way to lose weight if you want to achieve that desiccated, socket-eyed scarecrow look which tells the whole world “Don’t mess with me – I might be dead.”

With the right amount of meth you’ll also find that you’re a stunning conversationalist. Just check out the looks of amazement as you rocket your way into the heart of some refined chitchat with “HeyhowyadoingIjustgothereandIsawthisreallygreatlikebirdthingandprogramthatwouldshowpeoplehowtoflywithakiteorsomething. Yagotanybeer, dude?”

Everyone will be fascinated.

So will the judge.

(Believe me, sooner or later, there will be a judge. There always is.)

Of course, there are some drawbacks. You may, for example, get into such a hurry to get to work you may never get to work. Or, if you do get to a workplace, it may turn out to be somebody else’s workplace. That’s OK, though, because then you can become enraged and use your considerable conversational skills to convince everyone that you do, in fact, have a job somewhere and it might as well be right here and right now.

If they disagree, climb into the car you were too busy to register for three years and drive down the sidewalk until you can find somebody who will listen to you.

If you’re anything like the methamphetamine aficionados who seem to haunt the hallways of the Solano County Hall of Justice on a regular basis, the first understanding person you encounter will probably be a cop.

Try to have patience with the officer. After all, he’s probably not used to dealing with the rapier-like repartee you’re capable of laying down…

Not long ago I was discussing Solano County’s methamphetamine epidemic with a young Mennonite girl who sometimes visits our dim and dusty newsroom. She shook her head sadly and suggested, “Maybe they should just go get some ice cream.”

Ice cream?

Hey, maybe she’s got something there.

Originally published February 9, 2003

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