THERE are moments in everyone’s life when you should be compelled to stand before your pride and humble yourself.
My friend Clive has never had to worry about that.
I sat next to Clive during our Year 7 IQ test, and watched as his mind wandered to nowhere in particular.
I was waiting for him when he failed a Woolworths employment test at age 14, and saw him vainly struggle as a security guard led him away after he got caught stealing a He-Man action figure while leaving the store.
When I learned he had used a fake name while being questioned by the store’s security staff, despite the fact a guard was holding his job application form, I was not surprised.
Nor was I surprised when, under examination at home, he told his mother he was innocent, although I was taken aback when she hugged him and loudly damned her husband and his “stinkin’ family’s lousy genes”.
At 22, Clive met cocaine, his favourite drug, and other illicit substances.
Such is his appetite for drugs, I once observed him ask a man at a party if he was going to use the cocaine clinging to his moustache like a tawdry mistress.
Completely off his face, he once had sex with a beautiful woman at a five-star Bali resort, before realising he was lying next to the oldest gravestone in the oldest cemetery in Brisbane with a phone in one hand, something in the other and a paper’s classified section next to him.
I was at a party when he dived fully clothed into the pool, before quickly resurfacing. To this day, I’ve never heard a louder scream.
Upon learning the automatic pool cleaner had attacked him, he yanked it out of the pool and repeatedly hit it with a broom as onlookers cringed. He had been laid bare, and was repulsive in his ridiculousness.
It was at a Melbourne nightclub a decade ago that Clive was introduced to a prominent bikie.
The bikie’s nickname was Doc, not Dog – which Clive discovered when he was thrown through glass on to the dance floor below, where he was severely kicked by three men unknown to him.
I love Clive, and wish he didn’t use so many drugs. But he has never stood humble before his pride because he lacks the insight to do so. It’s not his fault.
When it comes to illicit drugs, lawmakers are a bunch of Clives – so stupid that they continue to pump millions of dollars of our money into fighting a war that will never be won.
But, unlike my Clive, there are no excuses for their behaviour.
Oh, what a laughable sight it was last week when federal police trumpeted the seizure of 464 kilograms of cocaine worth $160 million from a yacht in a Brisbane marina.
What was the purpose of that PR exercise? Was it to show the public that police have the upper hand in the war?
No doubt, some of you bought that line. But such thinking isn’t rooted in reality.
A case in point. Clive recently moved to Sydney, and had no trouble securing a cocaine connection.
“Everyone’s doing it in this city, mate,” he told me this week. “It’s everywhere, and the quality is outstanding.”
So while police were crowing about stopping 464 kilograms of coke from hitting the streets, much of which was probably earmarked for Sydney, Clive and thousands of other Sydneysiders were getting high on an abundant, high-quality torrent of coke.
Police are risking their lives, and the public are paying them to do it, for nothing.
Most illegal and legal drug use is recreational.
Lawmakers would better serve society by tackling the underlying cause of problematic drug use – social and economical factors.
But just when it appeared all was lost, along comes Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Ken Jones, who this week advocated public debate on whether illicit drugs should be legalised. Predictably, Victorian Premier John Brumby was quick to extinguish such talk.
Hey, Brumby. Don’t be a Clive. Humble yourself, man, and admit you’re wrong.
21st October 2010