In my "Drug Update Part I" last Thursday, I suggested improving the supply of low-income housing and recreation facilities as a way of reducing the demand for illegal drugs, to which readers replied ho-hum.
It seems that folk still want more information about what is going in our streets before pushing for any specific solution, so I will try here in "Drug Update Part II" to paint a picture of the drug scene as I see it.
Let's start with the killings. The reason the New Yorkers are coming to Washington and murdering their way into the drug market is because we have a lot of stupid customers here. We have a metropolitan area loaded with people who have more money than they know what to do with, so they are spending huge sums on drugs.
The local drug dealers laughed at how dumb the drug customers were, how much money they were willing to spend for garbage, and how they would pay premium bucks for a package of drugs that is of high quality but low quantity.
That's why crack cocaine became so popular. People were willing to pay for and smoke stuff that looked like mothballs just because someone handed it to them. What a great way to make money.
And you can't stop the flow of drugs into the country. The truth is, a lot of so-called crack cocaine doesn't have a smidgen of cocaine in it.
It can be nothing more than a piece of junk that some high school dropout cooks up, using stuff like yeast and baking soda. Oh, it'll get you high all right, because he adds speed and PCP and whatever drug he can find to mix with it.
After smoking this garbage a few times, you go crazy. I don't necessarily mean just while you're smoking it, either. You may be crazy for days, for months, forever, unless you get treatment. You may see somebody with a jacket that you like, and if that person doesn't peel it off his back you shoot him, because in your deranged state of mind nothing makes sense anyway.
You smoke this stuff and you get so paranoid that when you see a police officer, you shoot at him. It is no mystery why police now want the biggest and fastest guns that money can buy.
I would, but I wonder what good a gun will do when you walk into a crowd of people who are on the verge of criminal insanity.
When the Jamaican posses of New York, who are very serious about making money, heard about this cocaine salesman's paradise, they broke in with both barrels smoking.
Generally more sophisticated than our local drug salespeople, and far more ambitious, the Jamaicans saw the contradictions of our societal situation immediately:
How could a city really care whether these poor little drug sellers -- 12 years old and up -- live or die when so many of its upper-crusty residents were using drugs, often buying them on the street themselves?
The D.C. drug dealers, like law-abiding residents of this city, needed to get their backs against the walls before they would wake up and see what was at stake.
Then they went under their mattresses, pulled out the old sawed-offs and adopted the new modus operandi: Pass the dope and pull the trigger.
So there you have it. Its just like Chicago, 1927, except this time Al Capone is black. Now what are we going to do? Continue shedding tears for the dead and dying? Or buckle down and wrest control of this drug market, with its yuppie users and all?
I don't know yet. But I know people who have some ideas, and I will share them with you in "Drug Update Part III" next week.