Op-Ed: Could I sue my former boss for selling me dope?

Posted Jan 18, 2012 by PJ Harris
With all the news about tainted ecstasy claiming lives in Western Canada, plus the added bonus of the Liberal Party in Canada adopting a motion to legalize marijuana, I found myself thinking a lot recently about illegal drugs and their harmful effects.
Ecstasy Pills
Ecstasy Pills
Wikimedia Creative Commons
See, I was a keen and ambitious young journalist once. I remember my first day on the job. What I also remember is that no amount of training or education could prepare me for an employer who made me a client of his illegal drug scheme.
Now let me first make something perfectly clear. I don't plan on being the go-to guy here at Digital Journal concerning my advocacy of a conservative perspective of the illegal drug trade. But I am a survivor of drug abuse and that gives me a certain amount of credibility concerning this topic. In the interest of disclosure, you should know that I have previously written here on this website concerning my disdain for the addictive and dangerous drug known as cannabis.
Wait...Did he just say dangerous and addictive?
Yes, and I would know. Here's how it all went down.
I was somewhat of a straight-A student during my post-secondary career. Sure, I received a few awards during my education but that was long before I was exposed to my classmate "Oliver" (name changed to protect the innocent), a second-generation media mogul who was intent on one day taking over the family business. "Oliver" won my friendship and eventually I was invited to work in a major metropolitan area media market.
On one of the very first days I was working, "Oliver" and even more surprisingly - his boss - brought me into their world of illegal drugs. It was the first time I was privy to a real drug deal but it was nothing like Hollywood had made it out to be. At that moment, I was so eager to break into journalism that nothing really stood out concerning me witnessing their deal involving a handful of pharmaceutical pills.
And just like that, I was broken. Worse, I can't remember one warning in all my education and training by the so-called expert professors, instructors and lecturers that the media business was rife with drug abuse. They could have prepared us.
Next came "Oliver" to set up a regular deal hooking me on marijuana. What I mistook for friendship became a relationship of convenience whereby my boss at work was taking a percentage of my paycheck home to prop up his own comfortable living circumstances. Ultimately, it took me a long time to understand why "Oliver" would never want to talk with me about the media business... only the drug. After all, I was never a colleague... only a customer.
Years later, I can look back on that time knowing that "Oliver" was nothing more than a drug-pushing con artist. The tornado of drug abuse that he directly involved me with included the death of a co-worker from substance abuse and the destruction of quite a few personal relationships. See, that's what drugs do to people. Destroy with a capital D.
So now that I know all this, I'm left wondering something. Could I sue my former boss for selling me dope?
The reason I ask now, long after ceasing all ties with "Oliver", is that something really struck a chord with me concerning the rash of deaths attributed to tainted ecstasy pills being sold in the Western Canadian provinces.
One distraught mother in Alberta - upon learning her son overdosed on adulterated ecstasy - commented that she felt that drug dealers had "murdered" her child.
Now there's probably a statute of limitations for such a matter and I'd probably need just the right kind of lawyer but I'm dead serious when I say that my former boss tried to kill me with dope. It doesn't matter whether he set out to or not, the bottom line is, I almost died because of an addiction to the marijuana he choked me on.
It's taken no less than a decade of my life to recover from his dangerous game. Now I don't know where or what he has become now but I still feel like my life and my career have been robbed by this dangerous white collar criminal.
You know what? I want some of that money back.
Instead of writing freelance for peanuts, I want a chunk of his sizable fortune. Some of which has been made through the proceeds of crime. Although I laugh every time I see his hypocritical media company out and about in the public sphere, I still can't ignore the fact that I've been harmed by this guy. He chose to take from me when I was an impressionable newcomer to his world.
At the very least, I want all the money he stole from me and my health back. Plus, I want a chunk of money for each year I spent in the throes of addiction, and each year I wasted caught up with his terrible influence and life.
I feel like I was sabotaged by this guy, and that my health was irreversibly damaged. I deserve money for my suffering.
After all, the tobacco industry has been forced to cough up money for all the people who have been harmed by nicotine addiction. Shouldn't "Oliver" and his family-friendly business be forced to hand over what is rightfully mine? That being a life of financial well-being without the influence and corruption of his drugs?
So, do I have a case?