Forney has two online media outlets (TheForneyPost.net, and InForney.com) reporting the happenings in this growing exurb. I have been surprised to see how much copy each site devotes to coverage of local drug busts.
The stories themselves are largely formulaic; we get a mugshot, the government’s version of events, and sometime a nice pic of dope on the table for emphasis. I often wonder if the public sees these busts and thinks that something has been accomplished; that by arresting this one drug user or drug dealer we’ve made the world safer, or made some dent in the local narcotics market. The frequency of these arrests may be news to the public, but it’s old hat for anyone involved in the Kaufman County criminal justice system.
I’ve been here for 8 years, and we’ve been arresting suppliers and consumers the entire time. I can tell you that the net effect on supplies of controlled substances in Kaufman County is zero. Drugs are still readily available to meet the demand of our local consumers.
What the public has lost is much more tangible. Local residents have invested a mountain of tax dollars on law enforcement, prosecution, public defending, and jailing these defendants. Hundreds of our neighbors have lost thousands of years of freedom and are branded with convictions that last forever.
It’s an enourmus investment and I can’t think of any other endeavor in which the public demands so little in return. What we get is a never ending supply of criminal cases; job security for government employees and defense lawyers.
I hope that by seeing the sheer volume and frequency of drug arrests the public understands the perpetual failure of our State’s authoritarian approach to controlled substances. It’s one thing for a defense lawyer to tell you that trying to arrest every user of pot, meth, coke, xanax etc is a sysiphean endeavor. It’s another to watch it happen yourself, and thanks to InForney.com and the Forney Post you can.
So remember that no matter how many drug arrests you see in the news, or how much dope we get in any single case, we aren’t anywhere closer to winning the drug war than when Nixon fired the first shot 40 years ago.