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by Peter Moskos

April 15, 2011

It ain't easy...

"Freeway Rick" talks about the trials and tribulations of being a big-time crack dealer.

Specifically, this podcast from NPR: Planet Money tests various economic theories about crack dealing. But it's a shame the economists have to "discover" this when better sociological and ethnographic work said this a long time ago. The drug stuff starts a minute into the podcast.

And lest how we forget, "Freeway Rick" Ross--along with being a violent drug dealer destroying lives and communities--also contributed to a patriotic cause. He was buying drugs from the CIA, and what could be more patriotic than that? And his money was then used to buy guns for the Contras. And the Contras, as Ronald Reagan told us, were great freedom fighters!

Also, to my surprise, I didn't realize that crack might have been invented as early as 1974, and in San Francisco. See page 33 of this book and the research of Ronald Siegel.

[Though I'm still curious about an obscure 1908 reference to cocaine with a "small crystal 'rock-candy' form" (Cop in the Hood, p. 270, note 71)]

[thanks to Alan I.]

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