A question from last week: I would love to hear about the “drug” culture…what are the pervasive opinions? How does one acquire pot? Is it any good? etc…
Thank you for the question Brooke, and feel free to ask me anything. I will do what I can to give a helpful answer.
To keep the article confusing and because I don’t have pictures of narcotics, I have added pictures of some of my favorite “drugs”. When the coffee cherry turns red, it’s ready to be hand picked.
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“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”
― Hunter S. Thompson
Unlike HST, I am not an expert in drugs, in Guatemala or anywhere.
I am a scientist by many definitions, so occasionally I’ll put a microscope on 5 or 6 of senses and/or walk outside of my mind.
Unlike these slug addicts, I just check experiences off my list, and for the most part dwell in the common reality. My money is spent on legal drugs like caffeine, sugar, and alcohol. The logic behind which parts of nature are forbidden and who gets to decide what I consume is another topic for another day.
The simple fact is this: illegal goods are expensive. Therefore these goods are moved from cheap production to buyers. Guatemala is located between production (South America) and the market (North America).
According to Business Insider, “In the beginning, coffee was blamed for riots, seditious speech and Satan worship.”
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Ginger beer is high on any hipster’s list.
This is what I have gathered from living here:
- It’s rare to walk down the street in Antigua without at least 3 people saying in quiet, bad English, “Smoke week? Cocaine?” Maybe it’s the earrings and colorful clothing I wear.
- The shoe shiners, walking around all day with polish and a brush, are really drug dealers.
- Backpackers often carry cocaine, MDMA, and marijuana. I don’t know how they get it, but it seems to be easy.
- Acid is rare and I have only ever seen mushrooms in at spiritual destinations.
- It is said that the weed is pretty weak compared to places where it’s legal like Colorado, California, Washington, and Vancouver.
[Rumor has it that DMT is easy to get in Guatemala, but I have not encountered it in my 2 months here, nor in 2 months in Honduras. Because I don’t actively seek anything illegal, my knowledge is limited to word of mouth .]
It’s really just ginger and sugar. The lime and carbonation are optional. If you want to be really gangster about it, use yeast to naturally create the fizziness.
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Interesting “facts” I have read:
- With increased pressure on the Mexican border, drug traffic is taking a detour via boats and planes from Guatemala.
- Somewhere between 60%-80% of cocaine in the United States passed through Central America.
- According to SECCATID, around 3% of Guatemalans use “drugs”. Population 15.5 million.
- Around 9.4% of U.S. citizens use these “drugs”. Population 300 million.
- Possession gets you 4 months – 2 years in Guatemalan prison. Planting = 5 to 20 years. Trafficking = 12 – 20 years.
- Prison population in Guatemala: 16,336. This is about 0.1% of the population.
- Prison population in U.S.: 2,200,000 or 0.7%, making it the largest in the world.
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It seems that keeping a substance illegal ensures a high price, which ensures that most people are not willing to pay for it. Out of the 2-1/2 million people that die in the U.S. each year, half are from Major Cardio-vascular diseases (according to the CDC in Atlanta, GA). All illicit drugs combined amount to 17,000 deaths. Death from marijuana = zero.