“Wanna buy T3s?”

Medicine Wheel

I was leaving a meeting at the Thunderbird House recently – smelling of sage and feeling good about the work we had accomplished there. I was walking to my place, heading North down Main Street, passed the Youth For Christ building and under the under pass. I was walking by Sutherland when a middle aged woman on a bike stopped beside me and said

“Wanna buy T3s?”

“No thanks” was my polite response, as I am used to refusing random offers of pills on main street. She then rode away, and I proceeded to walk home. I walked by the bars, the walk in clinics, the pharmacies, the welfare office, the liquor store. Unconscious bodies and the gazeless stares of high zombie like relatives surrounded me. The smell of urine and old beer. The sound of grunting, sighing, crying and breathing heavily.

“Wanna buy T3s?”

The Informal economy that informs the existence and provides for the livelihood of so many of my neighbours and friends is alive and bustling. Unregulated. It feels often like the authorities look the other direction. Like those who are in positions to help, say ‘economic development’ is a good thing, even if the business is pharmaceuticals and the result is more of our people laid out on the street – zombies. I have seen the light fade from my brother’s eyes as the active ingredients do their work, take their effect and remove him from himself. I’ve spent time with the shell that remains, to vomit, to urinate and to remind me that there is someone, my brother, still alive, even if he’s hard to find, inside.

“Wanna buy T3s?”

My casual response, intended to not make the person selling the pills feel guilty for doing so. So many times, mothers have sold those pills to buy food for their kids. Brothers and dads have done the same, because no one will be hired with their criminal records Or they can’t find enough child care to work normal hours. Many who sell are ashamed. I don’t want them to feel bad for taking the steps that they need to, even though their example hurts me, and the result on the community is immensely negative. I don’t want this injured person to be more injured because of my judgement.

“Wanna buy T3s?”

Harm reduction is an interesting concept when you think about the zombie apolocalypse that is now before us. The Pharmaceutical industry is the largest business in Canada. The wait lists and the overtime – for professionals who service those who are unwell are large enough to make them happy – happy enough to keep us sick. It takes a lot of money to look after those people, you’ll hear. And it’s true. It does cost a lot of money. I know so many people who have fallen off the wagon while waiting for their wait list, or re-scheduled appointment to come up. Imagine what would happen if we spent our money helping them get themselves well, healthy, employed and housed. A self directed process that allows them to reduce the harm, while dialing up the good in their lives. Not shaming them for needing an escape from the abuse that is hurled at them for being an addict, or a parent who cannot provide, or a spirit in need.

“Wanna buy T3s?”

I heard an inspiring message this week. A message that said we men must allow women to be moved to the front of our communities again, into positions of leadership again, where the children and the women are respected and loved and protected, again. He said that we are all a part of these systems that continue to lock up our men and women, take our kids away, keep us all sick. ‘If you see a rape happening, and you do nothing – you are just as guilty as the rapist’; while those are not words I would generally use myself to move my audience to action, the point is legit. We as a society must move forward and help if we are to have any hope of stopping these types of addictions from becoming more commonplace than they already are. We can’t acknowledge there is a problem happening right in front of us, yet do nothing to stop said problem from getting worse!

I don’t want to buy T3s, but I do want this pain to go away. I just don’t know how.


9 thoughts on ““Wanna buy T3s?”

  1. Yeah okay I think we all know how shit works down there. But this post doesn’t help anyone but the racist fucks on social media. Thanks man! Now they have more material to degrade our peoples.

    1. Yup, I agree. the poet sounds like he wanted to get T3’s for 50 cents instead of paying a $. Move out of the hood dumb ass!

  2. “They” do look away. Phone calls clinics prescribing them letting them know your family member etc are selling them not using them lead no where. Nothing “they” can do “they” say. Phone calls to any other govt dept get the same response. “They” make money on the zombies as u say. So sad Because people can be whatever they want.

  3. After reading this article, I spent another hour or so on your blog, reading more and looking at videos. I really like what I see here, you’re doing yourself and your community a great service.

    Thank you!

  4. Good day Michael, my name is Jasmine. You might not know who I am but I know you as I was also a student at St. John’s high school. I was a grade or two under you so I was able to see you as a role model, and I must say you still are! I read up on all the change your making down in the north end, and as a former north ender, I am thankful for everything you are doing.
    I would just like to point out to you that this ‘zombie apocalypse’ (great phrase), is also happening behind portage place. I had lived there for eight and a half years, and would frequent portage place daily for my morning Tim Hortons coffee. After walking my son to school, my daughter (from newborn age to two years), and I would make our way to portage place. Every day like clock work I group of people where gathered behind and in front of portage place asking random strangers if they would like to buy some kind of drug that would zombify a grown man let alone me (I am a petite young woman at 5’3″ and weigh only 120lbs). Even walking my daughter in her stroller I am stopped daily.
    Growing up in the north end to raising my children in central, I was subjected to witness things that can happen if you do drugs and drink. From shootings in the middle of the day to the people who lost everything including their faith! I used that as drive to never fall subject to the troubles I witnessed!
    It was time for a change within our generation. Thank you for being the voice of many of us who don’t know how to go about it! If there is anything you plan to do to help again please send me an email as I would like to take part and help the community as well. Thank you again.

    Jasmine Stoddart

  5. Awesome what I read here!Don’t feel down whenever you read negative comments from people.There will always be negative haters!…Just take the positive ones with you…Later…Jeanne ; D

  6. I have am really ashamed of some of the racism in these responses…Now where in this aricle was it written with a racial “white against us” view…but people go there instantly. Terrible things happened to an entire culture, but making excuses and blaming only keeps u tied down. Stand up and say No I dont want any T3s, and take responsibility over your life. Take power back, but not through race hate, violence and crime…because that it what continues the cycle

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