Have you ever wondered how much of your money has gone to purchase illegal drugs? I got to thinking about this yesterday when Governor Scott Walker authorized drug testing for Unemployment benefit recipients. I'm sure some percentage of the tax dollars we pay to Madison and Washington ends up in drug dealers' hands--but what about the money we spend in everyday situations--how much of that is going to get someone high?
If you give to the many panhandlers that will be popping up all over the Fox Valley now that warmer weather is back, likely every penny of that is going to buy drugs. You can try to tell yourself that you're sure that "homeless veteran" is really using it to buy food and pay rent--but deep down you know, that guy is actually just a junkie. (Or at the very least, if the money is used to buy something else--that just leaves more money from another source to buy drugs).
If you are a parent, some of the cash you give to your teens and college students may end up with the "cool kid" who can score a little weed or some pills on Friday night. The speculation surrounding the death of Prince last month can lead one to assume that some percentage of that $1.29 ITunes download is going to a drug cartel somewhere. And what about what you paid for those beers in the bar, the tips you left at the restaurant and the couple hundred bucks you laid out for that really cool tattoo of your future ex-wife's name that you will someday be paying someone else to remove from your skin? Heck, some of the money Grandma is paying to stay in the nursing home is going to someone stealing her pills to support his or her own addiction.
Conversely, think about how much of the money you make may have come from the sale of illegal drugs. Dealers and traffickers have to eat and buy gas too. I would think the auto shops that specialize in ultra-dark window tinting and chrome wheel installation almost have to assume that's where the customer cash is coming from by now, right? I'd put gun shops on this list too--but thanks to gun control laws, weapons used in the commission of illegal drug crimes are all just stolen nowadays.
You probably want to go wash your hands now, thinking about where the cash you touched today may have been as recently as a few days ago.