Before he met Tina, John Motter had a closet full of $3,000 suits. He was a superstar tax consultant, entrusted with some of Arthur Andersen’s biggest clients.
But when Motter started using crystal methamphetamine, known as Tina in the gay community, the drug became more important than success.
The long hours at the office stopped. In the clutches of the powerful stimulant, Motter spent many of his nights at gay bathhouses and sex parties in Portland and Seattle.
Sitting in a Southeast Portland coffeehouse on a recent morning, his career over, the 43-year-old Portland resident couldn’t guess how many men he might have infected with HIV.
“It’s pretty disgusting, I know,” Motter said.
Cheap and easy-to-get, crystal meth supercharges the sex drive and keeps users awake for around-the-clock partying.
This presents a problem for both the “libertarian” right and the tolerance police of the left. A vicious confluence of HIV and Meth.
HIV and AIDS are not easy to get. The methods of transmission are well know both within and outside of the gay community. There should be no excuse for getting or spreading the HIV virus in today’s society. But because many, if not most, of the people coming up positive for HIV are homosexual, there is reluctance by many to criticizing anyone who has or spreads it. They are victims and victims are sacred. But in this case a little criticism, a little less approval by their peers, might be beneficial. No criticism is viewed as approval. But Mr. Motter isn’t HIV positive today because he’s gay, he’s HIV positive because he had unprotected sex with multiple partners. He did this because he didn’t care, and he didn’t care because he was using meth. A vicious cycle if there ever was one.
Mr. Motter is not unique. In fact he is rather representative. It is common for meth users to engage in activities that would strike a normal persona as dangerous and bizarre. This is not something that is unique to the gay community, although they are among those that are being hit hardest by the meth epidemic.
So where do we go from here? On one hand we have people that decry the “war on drugs” and what it is doing to our society. They don’t like the searchs, the raids, the jail sentences for people using and making the drugs. On the other we have meth. We have those who maintain that gays are victims of society and then we have meth. We have those who proclaim that the government has no business interfering in the choices of its citizens, and we have meth.
The article tells how meth dealers set up shop in rooms in gay bathhouses. But it would be incredibly un-PC to raid such a place. It would be “victimizing” gays. The bathhouse proprietors know the dealers are there, they know what they’re selling, but if they call the cops they would be ostracized in the community. What should they do?
The anti-drug warriors say that the war can never be won, that we should just surrender and legalize narcoticsmeth can and will be used responsibly, let the addicts burn themselves out. If only.
Legalizing meth would open the floodgates. Despite the assurances of the anti-drug war warriors, there is no chance that legalization would cut down on the destruction caused by meth. The quality and availability would only increase and since legalization implys approval. use would increase also. But meth is not pot. It has a terrible effect on those who use it. They become obsessive, paranoid and prone to violence. It is not the prohibition that makes them so, it is the drug.
Where do we go? Handing out condoms at gay bathhouses isn’t having any effect. Public service messages don’t have any effect. Outlawing the cold medicines will cut down on the “tweaker labs” and might help to cut down on the number of toxic hazard sites, but it doesn’t seem to have any affect on the availability or the purity of the drug. It only eliminates the competition from other sources and makes sure the trafficking is exclusively the domain of organized gangs.
Which leaves us where? An increasing incidence of HIV infection because of unsafe and indiscriminate sex practices among homosexual males fueled by meth use. An increase in the incidence and number of crimes to feed a meth habit. The increased impact on families. Political posturing with laws preventing people from getting or using cold medicines without a prescription. The affect of which is uncertain at best.
The politicians talk about stopping the meth trade, but as far as I can see, they’re doing just enough to generate news stories.
But I don’t have any answers either.
Meth is not a local problem. It is not a state problem. It is not even a national problem. For those thinking that this is a problem that cropped up recently and was confined to biker gangs on the West Coast, I got news for you. This is a worldwide problem and has been for years. Bikers in Sweden dominate the meth trade there. In Southeast Asia meth is turned out in modern superlabs in the jungles of Burma and is smuggled all over the Far East. In Thailand they call it “Yaa-Baa” (Crazy Medicine) and it sold in tablet form mixed with other drugs such as heroin.
I’s a problem in Europe, in Russia, in the Middle East, it is a problem everywhere. But in a world where the knowledge and materials required to manufacture the drug are easy to get, where do we go? Certainly we can pass laws. But we also have laws against nuclear proliferation. There are always states that are corrupt enough to allow drug cartels to set up and operate labs in their countries, all the while frowning and making statements at the UN about the seriousness of the problem. We can’t even agree to take action against states that murder their own people, what chance do we have to get action against narco-states?
If I were a smart enough person to have solutions to the problem, I would probably be paid more than I am.