Wendel is someone who knew someone who knew someone who I knew, and that actually used to be okay in the early Seventies. I mean, drug enforcement did exist, but The Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs hadn't yet even been converted to the DEA. Undercover was called narcs, and there was some. Mostly, however, effective drug enforcement needs to flip someone to introduce agents to targets, or they just pick off stoners who have yet to realize that some things actually are illegal. And the whole "CI" (Confidential Informant) thing, for a number of reasons, was still in its infancy.
Wendel sent me in a couple of good directions, and he was mostly cool in his own right. He was pretty much Tucson based, and initially he brought up a bag or two of bricks at a time and I just cashed him out. Given that his supply was almost unlimited, and his personal means were modest at best (i.e. his profits from those deals could barely fuel his various appetites, and nothing was left to grow his enterprise), it was pretty much inevitable that he would hook me up and just rake a small middle. I didn't have a lot of capital then either, but "kilo" bricks were only running around $35 to $40 each and I was a lot more industrious than was ever going to fit his lifestyle. He got a pretty decent, steady income stream this way, and it didn't really affect anything that he had been doing before we met.
Anyway, early on, two of us went over to where Wendel stayed locally because his hauling car was due in any time. There were a few folks around, and things seemed pretty subdued. We asked what was happening, and he said "Angel dust" and I broke my rule of doing lots of research before trying anything new. The amount that went into the joint was impressively small, but the impact was thoroughly overwhelming for both Dick and I. We managed to get out into the fresh air before it was too late, but I truly believe that the inside of my head was not ever that ugly before or since. So much so that the deal didn't get done until the next day because I wasn't doing nothing but recover when I felt like that.
Angel dust, PCP, animal tranquilizer, whatever. I have no clue if that stuff even still exists, and couldn't care less. Suffice it to say that I saw a huge red light over anyones head that had anything good to say about the stuff. Even more so than I normally did with anyone who liked blow, ludes, smack, etc. too much.
On the other hand, there is no argument on earth that would make me change my mind that one has every god given right to screw one's life up that way if so inclined. Any country who keeps people "free" from this sort of self harm is a world away from the kind of place that earlier generations have bragged that Americans live in.