Sunday, September 14, 2008
America's "War on Drugs"... Instead of Thugs .... (WAR ON DRUGS PT.1)
First of all ... I want to make it clear that I am not advocating drug usage ... I know damn well better then anyone the damage of drugs on the body and mind. And when I say drugs, I really mean drugs ... all this crap about "good" drugs ... "bad" drugs etc. Screw all that crap ... as far as I'm concerned all these drugs our society feed's to our children for attention deficit ... or any of the other psychological crap they come up with are as dangerous if not more than the illegal drugs that are peddled on the black market. They dont even know what the "long term" effect of these psyche drugs are going to be. But our court systems and law enforcement agencies are all backed up with these senseless drug war's ... and it costs us a fortune actually, we could use that money in social services to folks with serious addictions and get far more for our buck then the approach we have today. I want to point out 2 cases here, one that I was involved with personally.
#1) A young lady I known was out partying one night with her girlfriends at some local club in Dallas, on her way home ... and she was NOT drunk, she stopped with her buddies at a late night diner to eat ... they got done and went their separate ways. On the way back to her apartment ... she was driving down Jefferson Blvd in North Oak Cliff ... a neighbourhood that has a tad higher crime rate than most ... and is almost entirely latino working class in that part of Oak Cliff ... gang violence has been of some concern in the community. She jumps a lane right in front of a DPD cruiser unit ... trying to get around the unit who was driving slower to survey the many businesses that line the Blvd ... for possible burglaries and such ... it's about 4am. She didnt use a turn signal ... and the cop seen this as probable cause to check her out ... it was kind of a bold move when there is hardly any other traffic ... especially cutting off a cop. When she got out of the car ... she laid her purse down on the hood of her car ... after she took her wallet out of it to present her drivers license. Unfortunately ... as she laid her purse down, a small plastic clear bag slipped out onto the hood of the car that contained a white powder ... of course the officer seen it ... and arrested her for possession of what was found to be cocaine.The amount was small ... under $50 worth ... but still a felony, just a very low rank felony, a class of its own actually ... not a prison term felony ... but a state jail or probation type in other words ... but nonetheless ... felony.
She bonded out went to court and took a probation in a cop out plea for 4 years, and agreed to go to drug class ... a group setting where folks whine about their drug busts/ use and try to help each other feel better ... which was part of the courts condition for the probation. This gal was NOT a hardcore addict or anything like that ... she was one of them young folks who just parties and does things on a recreational level (although ... that's how addiction start's). But ... she was now on probation ... and that has rules that you must follow. One of them rules is ... if you change your address ... you must tell your probation officer within something like 24 hours ... giving your new address. Well she moved and didnt give her change of address. Since her probation officer didnt know her well and she hasnt been on very long, the probation officer issued a warrant and had her arrested and booked on a probation violation charge. She got a little cocky at the hearing cause she thought it was so petty ... and they sent her to a state jail for a couple months ... in which after she got out ... was still on probation until finishing the initial probation sentencing of the first charge of possession. I dont understand what this accomplished. Did we get a criminal off the street? The time in the courts and the expense to the taxpayers ... was it worth it? The cost of the incarceration ... was it worth it? This gal is NOT a criminal at all ... she wouldnt even shoplift a candy bar, I know her pretty well. She was just one of them party folks that takes her paycheck on the weekend and goes out. While the arresting officer was doing his job ... arresting her and getting her booked ... how much actual criminal activity was going on in his patrol sector of importance? I'm not faulting the officer ... he's just doing his job ... but why do we have so many of our officer's across America fighting this nonsense?
#2) One night on duty as security in Uptown Dallas' West Village I was alone that night ... it was late and things were winding down at the clubs and restaraunts, it's the most pleasant time of the night on the job ... because it's winding down ... and the night peak is over ... and all is well ... that's all you can hope for out there ... cause you never know in a scene like that what you will be challenged with ... lots of folks intoxicated ... fights break out ... between lovers and friends even ... sometimes more than just a fight ... and deadly weapons might be involved ... sometimes suicide (only had 2 of them). But ... when it winds down ... and you're okay ... and everything was average ... you're happy. You done your job ... and no ones hurt ... that's a good night.
But this one gal was coming out of the bar ... she started down the sidewalk ... she was on her cell phone yapping and fiddling around trying to get something in her purse at the same time ... of course ... like 95% of everyone else ... staggering a little bit. But she dropped her purse ... and everything almost fell on the damn sidewalk, she was loaded and clumsy trying to pick up her belongings, so I figured I would give her a hand and help. Most was gal stuff ... you know ... a whole make up rack of items. But one of the items I picked up and handed to her was a vial ... that was clearly cocaine (yes ... I knew it wasnt speed ... how? ... I just knew) ... when I handed it to her ... she froze up ... and said ... "Uhhh ... that isnt mine Sir ... ". Believe me ... it was ... it was still rolling after it fell out on the pavement ... I actually seen it. I lowered my head not looking directly at her ... handed it to her ... and said ... "Ma'am ... I've had a long night and really could care less ... I got one more hour ... to call it a night ...". She quickly grabbed it ... said goodnight and thanx for the help, that simple. Was I wrong for doing that? Maybe some folks would think I was wrong ... but what would be the point of fiddling over this? She was fairly well dressed. My senses tell me she's not out to hurt or rob anyone ... so what would be the point of doing anything else? Should I have kept it? You know ... I dont know what is the right thing to do ... but to harass her about it ... or call an officer over about it is a waste of time and money as far as I'm concerned ... and will do no good to her as well. You got some folks out there that are really criminals ... doing heavy damage to nice vehicles just to smash and grab some CD's or cell phone ... or whatever else they can sell ... folks that are pulling guns on intoxicated patrons and robbing them or what have you ... this IS the real problem ... not a person like her.