Vol 11, Issue 8
It was in my 2nd week of law school that I was offered drugs. An enterprising student had ferreted away a pharmaceutical drug, a methylphenidate variant, and was charging about 40 bucks for... well I can't remember to be quite honest, but it was a decent amount. A large part of this was probably him figuring that hell, in law school you can get it on every corner. In large part, he was right.
I have a strained relationship with drugs. In my undergrad, I made a tidy profit peddling marijuana, a fact I keep mum on for fear of it affecting my admission to practice. At the parties (oh, remember the parties) of my first four years at university, there was a lot of green that went around. While it kept my pockets plump, I can't say I enjoy the high marijuana brings. It makes me paranoid. Occasionally, I was able to get my hands on the higher end stuff, usually through my supplier, the highs on that I could stand.
MLS is an entirely different game it seems. While pot is undoubtedly the most common drug, typical given that Australia has the highest rate of cannabis use in the world, there seems to be a lot more cocaine use. This isn't that different from other places, those friends of mine that went straight into law from high school seem to see as much white as I do. At my first law ball my date brought coke, we were offered coke by a fellow first year and on my trips to the toilet, I assumed I'd stumbled onto the set of the Scarface remake. Cocaine is seemingly fitting for law school, it is alarmingly expensive, and carries with it an air of professionalism. Most importantly, it allows you to stay up late and retain focus on subjects with iron clad discipline.
More than just the recreational party drugs, that student who solicited me for Ritalin only 3 paragraphs ago, is himself making a decent living, not to say he has no career prospects, If memory serves he did a clerkship this summer. One friend of mine, a stellar student, compared days with me. I had written 2000 words of notes, he said he was pushing 10,000 off a sesh on moda. This isn't a drug I remember from undergrad, but it seems to have taken the academic world by storm. I can understand what the appeal is, we need to take every edge we can get, after all, we're graded on a curve.
Assuming that drug use exists, the question must be asked: does this pose a problem? There are studies that show problems with the aforementioned drugs, but I don't really want to grandstand here. Alternatively, we should consider what culture we have cultivated that drives people to feel they have to use drugs to perform. More troubling is the idea that these drugs may work and that there are students showing up to jobs with averages higher than mine (72), while tweaking out of their fucking eyeballs. This is in no way meant to imply that any high performing students are drug assisted. In actuality, drug users probably perform below average (a number which seems to be pegged to my GPA).
Ultimately, I think what's needed is to push the spotlight onto the subject of drug use in universities, especially elite ones. I hope this article can be a part of that.
This is the work of a JD student
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