Tuesday, November 13, 2007

When X Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have X

Apparently when something that lots of people want is banned by authorities, an "underground" or "black" market is created. Shocking, I know. This is the harrowing story of two parents confronted with evidence that their son was dealing in contraband at his school:

Billy and his parents had been at odds. The junior at Boulder’s Fairview High School, whose identity has been changed for this story, had been letting his hair grow and was routinely getting it styled. He was buying things without any visible means of income. A few weeks into the 2007 fall semester, he had a brand new iPod. He had new boots, new clothes and was talking about a new car.

“He had no friggin’ job,” his mother, Sue Anne, told Boulder Weekly. “His dad and I won’t let him have a job. We want him focused on school. We want him at Stanford after he graduates, so we don’t need him distracted by a job and all that comes with it. We don’t want him buying videogames and iPods.”

As money became less of an obstacle for Billy, the boy’s parents became more concerned. It had become common to see him with a one- to two-inch-thick wad of cash. They became certain he was dealing drugs. They confronted him.

Indeed, the boy was a dealer, selling "treats" to his fellow students. And by treats, I mean candy. Sweets. Sugar.

“Hey, suddenly it all made sense,” William said. “At this point, we believed that drugs were not a part of it. It was just a bunch of candy. Instead of fearing visits to drug rehab, we had to worry about a dental visit. We went home and laughed about it. We were just so relieved. We were actually kind of proud of him for finding a niche, filling it and making a profit.”

Because schools are trying to enforce the latest health fad/scare by banning anything that might contain flavor, the market for candy has taken on aspects of the drug trade. This kid was marking up candy he had bought at Costco by 900% and making a killing. At least his parents were cool about it. Some might have reported him (to, um, someone) for being an enabler.

Read the whole thing here, for and this picture

and more great lines like "a candy ban in public schools turned Austin High School into an underground candy market that resembles 'Willy-Wonka-meets-Casablanca',

HT Reason


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