Monday, December 19, 2005

December 19th, 1991

Steve Howe Arrested

If you know anything about Steve Howe, you can probably guess what this arrest was for, possession of a controlled substance, to wit, cocaine. Howe ended his career with seven suspensions for use of the drug (which was apparently in some way linked to attention deficit disorder) and remains--depending on one's view--a tragic figure whose career was lost in the cycle of addiction or someone who passively allowed his career to go up his nose. For my part, I lean more towards the former than the latter, but it's probably not quite that black-and-white.

Anyway, what intrigued me about this story today wasn't so much the arrest itself, or even Howe's career-long problem, but the place where the arrest took place: Montana. Maybe--in fact, almost definitely--this is just my New York City sense of superiority showing through, but I can't imagine the market for coke in Montana is exactly what one would call booming. Applying the national average, there are only about eighteen thousand regular (that is, at least one a month) cocaine users in Montana, or approximately twenty-four times fewer than in the New York City metropolitan area where Howe had spent the 1991 season. This isn't a point of city pride or anything (New York! Where the cokeheads come to play!) but just an observation. Spending six months of the year in a city with almost a half a million cocaine users and Steve Howe manages to get busted in a state with less than twenty thousand of them? I guess the holidays really are tough.

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