Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Drug Use in Thailand

Anyone with even a passing interest in international news or specifically regarding south-east Asia and Thailand, will be familiar with the notorious drug war launched a few years ago by the Thaksin government. Since that time there has been a second drug war and a 3rd one is looming. The condemnations are barely heard now as Thaksin has outlawed any reporting on the statistics regarding those killed. I've harped on this numerous times and I won't go into details again.

3, 000 killed extra-judicially in 3 months (with the laughable claim that only a dozen or so were done in by the police), many with identical envelopes of speed tablets and similar handguns found next to their corpses, sums up the brutality and underlying mentality guiding such campaigns.

Anyone who uses drugs is only ever a few steps removed from a dealer of some sort, regardless of whether a few joints or pills are being handed on to them by a friend who made the transaction.

The belief that being slightly removed from any dealing activities somehow insulates a person from the horseshit that is inevitably associated, is a sentiment I have long sensed from most drug users. While in many countries dealing is now the only illegal aspect of the drug subculture (at least regarding marijuana), in Thailand possession is still a very serious crime that can result in a length of sentence similar to that which a person would face for manslaughter in the west.

Once in the orbit of anyone who is providing you with drugs, you are beholden to that person to a certain degree. Add into the mix the fact that your judgement is undoubtedly skewed because of the usage and you are receptive to suggestions and requests from such individuals. If someone is leaning on them, what qualms would they have against using you in any possible way so as to lessen their potential plight or punishment?

There are numerous examples of Brits, Australians, yanks and other foreigners banged up in Thailand for getting involved in the drug scene. Bangkok's Bang Kwang prison is full of western fools who thought they were immune from consequences.

There is another larger tier below those incarcerated here, most of whom are doing time because of dealing or transporting across international lines, and those are common users. The sneering nonchalance from these individuals never ceases to amaze me. They are happy to tell anyone and everyone of the fact that they regularly smoke reefers during their stay here and assure their listeners that nothing negative will ever befall them because of it. They are the types who will casually spark a joint in the presence of others, oblivious to the fact that any foreigners in their midst are now open to extortion, jail time or deportation in the event that the coppers show up. Unlikely? Of course. Probably hundreds of such fools have come and gone, spent a good chunk of their lives here, engaged in illegal activities and left unscathed.

But those fools who are snared never fail to start mewling and are ever eager to try and trade on their western status, a far cry from the image they projected in the time leading up to their arrests.

Here are 3 observations I have made regarding those who want everyone to know that they are fearless hard-cases living on the edge in a gritty 3rd world country and are willing to use illegal drugs:

1. That they haven't been caught assures them that they never will be in the future. This circular bit of nonsense afflicts many people in various situations. It's a variation on ascribing a run of good luck or the absence of any catastrophe to some inert object or other superstition.

"Hey, this rock I carry around in my pocket protects me from tigers/witches/being raped in the ass etc."

"How can you be so sure?"

"Well, it hasn’t happened to me, so..."

2. They all boast of a connection to some higher-up. To believe all these fools, a person would have to come to the conclusion that all Thais involved in the police force and army are a bunch of malleable, wishy-washy pushovers who take an instant liking to whatever foreigner is in their vicinity and pledges their eternal help to them. This claim of a free get-out-of-jail card is almost to-a-person and truly beggars belief regarding the naivete of these fucks. Do these cunts truly feel that whatever feel-good, flippant comment was offered at some point in the past by some Thai whose path they crossed, some stiff who was/is related to some tart they're fucking, allows them to break the law with impunity?

"Ahh, you caught a foreigner and he was dealing smack? But he knows Tittifuck? Cut 'em loose! What the fuck were you thinking?"

I wonder if Bang Kwang is full of sad fucks who spend those eternal minutes wondering why their local connection didn't get them off the hook?

3. A compulsion to share information. Not unlike many small-time hoods, whose only claims that differentiate themselves from others, are the senseless risks they are willing to take in life. It's as if that added bonus of having others know is the only thing that makes it real for them.

That affliction which seems to take hold with lawbreakers the world-over and for which the authorities will always be grateful. To share their own self-perceived daring and callous nonchalance creates an ever-growing web of knowledge regarding their activities. Amongst which is undoubtedly some vindictive cunt, one who may even partake in the backslapping and simultaneously set in motion a gutless series of steps in hopes of seeing the braggart nailed to the wall.

Are these fools so lacking in awareness and understanding of the human condition? So inexperienced in the ways of the world that they don't know the masks that people wear? The sociopaths, the sly insincere individuals, the lovers of mayhem, the manipulators amongst us? That no person can ever really know another?

Far from gaining a sense of schadenfreude from the plight of anyone who ends up in prison, I wish they would get their heads out of their asses before it's too late.

Cross-posted at: Blogcritics