The Drug Trade

June 2, 2004

When I was in 6th Grade, Miami Vice was in full effect. The soundtrack was in everyone’s case, people wore pastel shirts, and we started a little game called “Drug Dealer”.

Now, my little suburban North Georgia elementary/junior high school had roughly 225 students. That’s grades K-8. There were two 6th grade classes, both consisting of around 20 students apiece. Now imaging about 30 of the combined class playing a game involving powdered sugar as cocaine. Throw in some cheap play money that we all purchased at the Red Food Store for $.99 along with a cheap toy gun, and that’s the little game we played.

We would “sell” baggies of play dope to one another, paying for said baggie with play money. This would happen on the playground or, since almost everyone lived in the same subdivision, after school. Did I mention that the teachers were involved too?

The 6th Grade teachers, seeing our “entrepreneurial” quest for knowledge, allowed this game to go on. With the stipulation that the teachers were the cops, and if you got caught, you lost your stash and play money….plus you got paddled.

I do believe my Mom freaked out a little when I was approached by two kids on our doorstep, asking if I wanted some “drugs”….which looked remarkably like SweetNLow. Mom was pretty cool, but asked me in the car if I knew “that drugs were bad”? Yeah, we knew that they were bad, but we also had the sense to know that it was “make believe” on television and we were just playing a game.

I honestly couldn’t imagine playing this sort of game now, without black helicopters swooping down and removing the students from their homes and sending the parents to prison until 2033. With all of the zero-tolerance crap going on now if this happened today (instead of 18 years ago in 1986), we would all be attending an alternative school for selling powdered sugar and play money to an uncover operative from the 5th grade.