Being  strung out on meth required funding much of which came from sales of LSD. As LSD was only a couple of dollars a hit at that time in Long Beach, but was still $10 in Minneapolis, I soon arranged a trip back there. My partner was sending me the drugs and I was selling both retail and wholesale until I got busted.

I actually got busted twice. The first time I was walking down the street after having done some retail sales and the cops grabbed me up. Searching they found meth and LSD. They said there had been a robbery in the neighborhood and that the perp was wearing clothes like mine.

After spending a couple week in jail I had my public defender get the charges dropped on the basis of illegal search and seizure. At that point I should have left town but was too covered over to realize the cops once on a scent weren’t going to just shrug their shoulders and move on.

A few weeks after getting out I was sitting with my girlfriend in our kitchen rolling a joint to take the edge off the side effects of speed when the front door was kicked in and several cops with guns pointed at us burst in. A second or two later the kitchen door was kicked in as well. I don’t know if no knock warrants were legal then but that is how this one was executed.

Looking back it is interesting how your life ‘s course can be dramatically changed by a split second decision and reaction. My girlfriend, hearing the first crash, grabbed the marijuana and leapt towards the toilet and got it flushed using the one second delay before the second crash to get it done.

This mattered because at that time in Minnesota possession of LSD and meth were still only misdemeanors. Later the law caught up and changed them to felonies as they maybe should be but at the time they were a lesser crime.

Marijuana on the other hand was a felony carrying 20 years, hence a much more serious  crime and  life changing. Not just a stone changing the course of a river but a landslide of boulders completely altering the range of options available henceforth.

This time I was a guest of the Hennepin County Jail for 80 days. That experience will be another post.

I was eventually offered a plea deal referred to in jail house parlance as a floater. If I plead guilty and agreed to go back home to the farm in North Dakota they would give me probation for a year. If I behaved for a year they would drop the charges. Which happened.

As my friend Bobo in jail would often recite, “Always cop to the misdemeanors”  I took the deal. At the sentencing the judge said,”You hate me now but later you will thank me.” He was right on both counts.

When I would recounted this story to my sister and pointed out that if I hadn’t been busted I would have been dead. The poster and widely circulated saying at the time “Speed kills.” Which even though you could see it happening around you, you didn’t care. And it is killing me, 45 years later through the effects of hepatitis C.

I told her God saved me by getting me busted and she said how my family had been praying for me the prodigal son.

What was one thing I learned from this? The following most likely will shock you but within the context of my demographic at the time was quite romantic.  If you want to give your girlfriend a gold plated 26 gauge needle for her 18th birthday, don’t buy a used one and don’t share it. Needle sharing is a known transmission vector for hep C.

Not that that was only needle I shared but certainly the most memorable. Needle sharing was not at that time known to be dangerous and even the AMA, the medical establishment, didn’t know and reused needles which was why such things existed to be gold plated.

I would also like to note that my girlfriend was strung out before I met her — I didn’t drag her down.

Going back home to the farm and a loving Christian family did give me the perspective to realize there was no future in meth and I have never gone back to it. Although I still had a substance abuse problem with marijuana that would take joining the Hare Krishnas to kick at least a future with possible options was now open to me.