Dealing Drugs in Saudi Arabia Is Stressful
“Abdullah” sounds nervous over the phone. He nearly didn’t want to talk to me in the first place, even though I’m not using his real name in this article. His paranoia stems from the fact that a close friend was recently arrested for possessing some of the hash Abdullah had sold him, and now he believes the authorities are “out to get” him, too. Which is why he’s recently shut down his Facebook, deactivated his email account and gone into hiding from the mutawa—the country’s religious police.
I’ve been an expat in Saudi Arabia for almost 15 years, so I’m well accustomed to how frustrating its hardline Islamic restrictions can be for secular people trying to live their lives. However, this doesn’t compare to the dangers of doing what Abudllah does and illegally importing or selling drugs or booze, crimes for which perpertrators can be thrown in jail, lashed, or even publicly executed. Increasingly, the mutawa are the ones responsible for finding and catching those deemed guilty of these crimes against Sharia.
Regardless of the law and the heavy penalties for breaking it, liquor and many other illicit substances are available in Saudi Arabia—it’s just a question of knowing where to look. A rare study on the topic, published by the World Health Organization in 1998, found that 24 percent of patients at a hospital in Riyadh had abused alcohol. More recently,WikiLeaks exposed the royal family’s wild parties, which include liquor, cocaine, and prostitutes.
A large black truck parked across the field came into view. Two men were inside, one of them wearing a ski mask. It was Edward. He exited and approached while his driver peered at us through his sunglasses. I introduced myself and asked how much time we had for the interview. “Until it gets hot, I guess,” Edward said and explained that earlier in the day he had received information that African American ex-military sharpshooters who were now gang members had traveled from Detroit to stalk him and his fellow Klansmen before the rally. It sounded ludicrous, but then again I was standing in the middle of a garbage dump talking to a member of the Ku Klux Klan in 2013.
BATH SALTS, ORGIES, MURDER AND ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
If there is one thing society can learn from the soap opera now engulfing tech zillionaire John McAfee, it is that rectal shelving is the best way to take the psychoactive drug MDPV, marketed and known colloquially as bath salts. “Measure your dose,” McAfee wrote on a psychonaut forum two years ago, under his Stuffmonger handle. “Apply a small amount of saliva to the middle finger, press it against the dose, insert. Doesn’t really hurt as much as it sounds. We’re in an arena (drugs/libido), that I navigate as well as anyone on the planet here. If you take my advice about this (may sound gross to some), you will be well rewarded.”
It was the sort of vain boast to which he was prone. But it wasn’t too far from the truth, either. More than 99.9 percent of anyone now living, John McAfee seemed to have spent every waking hour Carpe-ing the fucking Diem.
Here was a man who did sex yoga. Who practiced the ridiculously fatal sport of aerotrekking. Who ranged the world gathering sycophants around him, investing in power yachts, designer chemical labs, bodyguards and shotguns, and above all else, making his life a holy shrine to his penis, and his life’s work the putting of that penis into as many young ladies as would have it. His holy grail, according to reports from close friends reported by Gizmodo, was “drugs that induce sexual behavior in women”. He lived for pleasure. For the most simple, hedonic view of pleasure, and – if you squinted your eyes a bit – you could probably have seen him as a kind of deranged folk hero.
But now someone is dead, and it’s a lot harder to see the joke.