Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Protecting the Children - Part 2

When Janet Horwitz, Senior Program Analyst at the Department of Justice and DEA liaison received my friendly E-mail about JUNK, she was evidently not amused, and emailed me this terse response:

I don't know who gave you my email address, but please do not send me any more emails.

I thought, "Gee whiz! Her E-mail address was featured prominently on the official DEA website. Doesn't that imply she wants people to actually use it?"

So I promptly wrote her back:

I won't E-mail you again, but I received your address from the Drug Enforcement Administration website. I assumed that since you are listed as a public servant with the Department of Justice, you might be open to sharing a laugh and having a brief E-mail dialogue with an author and citizen who counts himself among the very few to simultaneously debate John Walters, Karen Tandy and William Bennett in print. You might want to run a search on your name in a few weeks, because I will likely blog about my exchange with you.

Drug warriors often speak of "protecting the children"...

When my two kids (who I delivered with my own trembling hands) can obtain potentially deadly drugs like crack, meth and heroin more easily than regulated drugs like alcohol or tobacco, the drug war is FAILING to protect the children.

When drug cartels are getting rich selling a completely unregulated product, turning our streets into war zones, and divesting money to terrorists, the drug war is FAILING to protect the children. The violent thugs who head the drug cartels don't care if our officials catch 10% of their shipments, so long as our policies make the other 90% of their product worth its weight in gold. Incidentally, it costs the United States Government a mere 30 cents per ounce to cultivate therapeutic cannabis for it's Investigational New Drug program. That same ounce could be sold for $300 on the streets of our drug-war torn country. Prohibition has increased the value of the product 1000 times! Regardless of altruistic intent, a prohibitionist is a mobster's (and a terrorist's) best friend.

When drug addicts invade the homes of families and commit violent crimes to pay the inflated prices imposed by black market producers, the drug war is FAILING to protect the children.

When police can't keep even drugs out of our schools, the drug war is FAILING to protect the children. There is some evidence indicating that illegal drugs are more commonly found in schools than tobacco and alcohol, even though illegal drugs are penalized far more harshly than booze and cigarettes. Reckon there is a connection?

When violent predators receive lighter sentences than drug offenders, the drug war is FAILING to protect the children. In my hometown of Denton TX, children share the city streets with 27 criminals convicted of sex crimes against kids 13 and younger, who never received a single day in jail for their crimes. This same dynamic is occurring in counties throughout the nation. Just how does a person sexually assault a four year-old girl and not serve any jail time? It's not for lack of resources - after all, we're sending many marijuana growers to jail for years, decades, or life. This dynamic will soon be exposed in a feature-length documentary entitled Broken Silence.

When children are placed in neglectful and abusive government group "homes" because their parents were given unnecessarily harsh prison sentences for using prohibited substances, the drug war is FAILING to protect the children.

When drug offenders are denied financial aid for college while child murderers and rapists receive Pell Grants, the drug war is FAILING to protect the children.

When the father of a eight-year old boy is brutally tortured with a battery charger clamped to his testicles by Tennessee Sheriff's deputies who are angered when he merely exercises his Fourth Amendment right to not give consent to a search of his family's home, the drug war is FAILING to protect the children.

When a DEA officer literally shoots himself in the foot while giving a drug and gun safety lecture at a public school (in front of a diverse crowd that included young kids), and then immediately horrifies the audience by pulling out yet another gun, the drug war is FAILING to protect the children.

When teenagers die from heroin overdoses because their "friends" won't take them to the hospital for fear of arrest, abandoning them to an early grave, the drug war is FAILING to protect the children.

When our nation doesn't properly fund schools, yet has more prisoners per capita than any nation on earth, the drug war is FAILING to protect the children.

When officers storm a high school with barking dogs, pointing loaded guns in the terrified faces of innocent students, handcuffing them and forcing them to lie on the ground, the drug war is FAILING to protect the children.

When prohibition laws engender general disrespect for the law among our nation's youth, encouraging criminal behavior and devastating penalties for minors, the drug war is FAILING to protect our children.

Sorry you didn't enjoy the JUNK satire, Janet. Fortunately, it's not yet against the law for citizens to advocate reform, or for artists to mock inaptitude and corruption in action.

Hope you sleep well tonight. If you have children, hug them close. They deserve your protection.

Your Iconoclast,

Christopher Largen

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