Published on Aug 27, 2019

N Z T 

Protesters chanted these three letters while facing City Hall this morning, calling for the decriminalization of NZT. The group of protesters were an eclectic bunch, featuring young professionals, factory workers, contractors, truck drivers, service industry employees, and even students. Name any profession in Westcity, and they were probably represented today. The event was organized jointly by local tech entrepreneur James Simeon, labor union president Linda Harrison, and President of the Shook University Grad-students Association (SUGA) Alice Wong.

We can't allow the city to get to selectively decide who and who doesn't get to partake in this 21st century economy.

James Simeon -- CEO and founder of Writerly 

NZT, was the codename given to a liquid substance that obviates the need for sleep. Although not a hundred percent alike the NZT from the popular movie Limitless, the name communicated its effects well so the name has stuck. 

It was initially approved by officials conditionally as part of the ongoing efforts to reduce homelessness. The premise was that homeless people were fine during the day. They could hang out at the library or the cafe or any other public place. The problem only arose when nightfall came and they didn't have a place to go. That's when officials decided to just relieve the homeless from the burden of having to sleep in the first place. The mayor has cited that it's a much cheaper solution than to build and maintain the once desperately needed overnight shelters. 

NZT has been a miracle for homelessness. Most of the homeless who took the NZT ended up finding the swaths of free time empowering and ended up taking on night jobs and making enough money to no longer be homeless. Truly an inspiring story. 

But it's not all bubbles here. There is still the issue of NZT's legality. Once a person is no longer homeless, should they still be able to consume NZT? So far, the answer is yes. The city is grandfathering all the homeless people sighting concerns with relapse. Some health professionals have voiced their worries about this.

If the city is fearing relapses, aren't they admitting that there may be long-term or even short term side effects? This is a conversation we can't ignore.

Denise Jackson -- City Health Adviser

However, the health issue hasn't even been the hottest issue. Concerned citizens such as Jackson are in the minority. Most citizens are not concerned, but rather outraged that they are unable to legally access NZT.

I got five kids to feed. Think about that. and I ain't gettin paid enough at Wal-Mart to feed them. So if you ask me if NZT should be legal, then I'm gonna say hell yeah!

Mary La'Salle -- Wal Mart for the past 18 years

Working class employees, whether in retail like Wal Mart or at a factory like the one Linda Harrison represents, are all in uproar over the inequality. They feel slighted that homeless people were given this edge while they are still bound to biological needs such as sleep. 

And it's not only working class people who are outraged. Even tech workers, professionals, and grad students are in uproar, citing fatigue and increasing competition and increasing workloads as reasons for why they need NZT. 

Many tech employees and lawyers have already been caught buying NZT off homeless people. 

The city is still unsure on how to deal with illegal purchases. They are weary on pulling the trigger too fast on this one. Currently, illegal possession of NZT is treated like a misdemeanor. But there's been talks of classifying it as a schedule 1 drug similar to Heroin or what marijuana once was.

I have a very demanding job, so yes I would like to see the city legalize NZT for all. I just don't think it's fair that certain people get to not sleep and do whatever they want whereas the rest of us still need to lay still with our eyes closed for eight hours a day.

Bill Meyers -- Software Engineer at Shooktech

What will happen with NZT? Will the protesters get what they want? Will this demand spread throughout the country? Already in San Francisco in New York, people are beginning to call for NZT, a lot of them asking, what it is to begin with? And how was it developed and distributed in the middle of nowhere? Some of these people have even been going as far as traveling to Westcity to purchase the substance and bringing it back home.

At the protest, there was one person who was not engaging in the chants. I went and asked her why.

You know. The thing that worries me so much isn't this  En - Zee - Tee thing. What worries me is how gung-ho everyone has been about wanting it.

When I asked for her name she refused to provide it.