Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Drugs will ruin your life

My name is Ashkan Farhadieh. I am 22 years old and I recently finished my studies at UW-Madison. I am writing this letter from the Dane County jail. When I leave here after my sentencing Nov. 22, I am not going home to my family, or to graduate school, or to my first good job. I am going to a federal prison.

Not long ago I was just like many of you. I had the same hopes, dreams and aspirations. Most of that is gone now, because I made the choice to use and sell ecstacy. I am writing this letter with the hope that I can dissuade at least one young person from making the same mistakes that I did. If one of you reads this letter and thinks twice before getting involved with ecstacy, then something good has come from my situation.

The fact of the matter is that if you are using ecstacy, selling it or sharing it with your friends, you are on the road to ruining your life. I know because I ruined my life by using it and selling it. I also know that everyone has heard the same story from cops and other social groups: Drugs will ruin your life. Well, I am not a cop or an anti-drug group member. I am just a college student who can tell you from experience that messing with ecstacy is a huge mistake.

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During my four years at UW, I was like most students. I partied hard while keeping up with school. Not believing that ecstacy was harmful, I was both using and selling it. If you are using ecstacy, which I know a lot of kids do, you are running the risk of damaging your brain for the sake of a “good time.” If you don’t believe me, look at the Internet at numerous studies that document this. If you think, as many do, that ecstacy is harmless, you are wrong.

You are also wrong if you think that you can get involved with selling ecstacy without serious consequences. I used to think the same way, as did some of my friends. And guess what? We are all going to federal prison. Not probation, not a fine, not drug treatment, not work release. Prison. I just finished four years at a good university and now I will be going to a federal prison for more time than I spent in college. I don’t care if you are on the Dean’s list, come from a wealthy family, or are on your way to medical school. If you decide to sell ecstacy, you are going to prison. Federal drug agents and prosecutors are a lot smarter than you are. The best lawyers and your otherwise perfect background won’t save you.

If you don’t believe me, look at the federal sentencing guidelines and see for yourself. The penalties are extremely harsh, even for first offenders. The feeling of euphoria produced by ecstacy is very deceptive. No “good time” is worth the risk of damaging your brain and loosing your freedom.

I learned these things the hard way. I have lost so much, hurt my family and jeopardized my future. I don’t want sympathy for that, because those are the consequences of the choices I made. I do want, hopefully, to deter someone from making those same choices and suffering then same consequences. Trust me, ecstacy isn’t a joke. If you are using or selling it, I promise you that you will hurt yourself more than you could ever imagine.

Written from the Dane County Jail, Nov. 6, 2002.

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