Dream of: 21 November 1996 "The Assignment"

I was sitting in the middle of a large class room filed with probably a couple hundred students. Up front, the professor (a middle-aged man) was giving us our assignment. He made it clear that not everyone in the class had to complete the assignment, but only those who felt so inclined. The assignment was to put together an illegal drug business. The students weren't going to actually deal drugs, but were simply supposed to put together fake operations which would be comparable to illicit drug operations in the real world. The professor then explained that in the basement of the building was a large amount of a white powder which was supposed to represent all the cocaine in the world. Upon the professor's signal, anyone who was taking part in the project should try to get to the basement as quickly as possible to lay claim to as much of the cocaine as he or she could.

No hesitation was in my mind; I was going to take part in the assignment, and my only concern was getting out of the room and to the basement as quickly as possible. Since I was sitting right in the middle of my row, with people in seats on both sides of me, I was worried someone else might beat me to the basement. I noticed Dale, a straight arrow whom I had known in junior high school, sitting next to me on my left – he also appeared ready to race out of the room and take part in the project. As I pushed my way past the other students (most of whom were just remaining in their seats and not taking part in the project), I thought it might be possible for Dale and me to join forces. Together we might stand a better chance of controlling the cocaine.

But by the time I reached the hallway, I realized it wasn't really practical for Dale and me to be partners. I also realized I was already beginning to understand more about the drug business, and that I was also beginning to have some insight into why drugs continued to remain illegal. It occurred to me that one reason drugs remained illegal was that there was no united front by the people who knew most about drugs. Due to the nature of the business, the people who dealt in drugs were splintered, in constant competition, and weren't inclined to join together to work toward having drugs legalized. In fact it was just the opposite; the people most heavily involved with drugs were constantly battling each other, and weren't inclined in any way to work with each toward something such as legalization.

As a result, since there was no united opposition to the laws against drugs, the United States continued to pour vast amounts of money into the effort to support the laws against drugs. I thought the amount spent each years to keep drugs illegal was around $13,000,000,000 – thirteen billion dollars – a huge number indeed. To me this seemed like absolute lunacy. If drugs were legal, that money could be put to much better use. And that wasn't even to mention the additional huge amounts of money which the government could generate by taxing the drugs.

I had no problem with money being spent to educate people about the dangers of drugs, or even spending the money on propaganda campaigns like "Just say no." My problem was with the government taking away a person's freedom to determine for his or her self what to do with his or her own body. And the resulting chaos and crime which was generated by the laws against drugs highlighted even more the insanity of the laws.

Continuing to ponder the issues in the hall, I realized that on my journey to the basement I needed to be very quiet, that I should not even let a board creak beneath my feet. To accomplish this, I began holding on to the wall, to railings and whatever I could find, so that my feet didn't actually touch the ground. I felt light and was able to quickly float along the hall and down the stairs to the basement. Once in the basement, still floating along, I headed toward a large old bathtub – the old clawed foot type – which was sitting along the wall. Reaching the head of the tub, I prepared to turn on the faucets. I thought this was the method by which I would gain possession of the cocaine.

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