Who Will Bust the Busters?
December 10, 2008
Or, as the Roman poet Juvenal once said, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will watch the watchers?
An outfit called Kop Busters set up the police in Odessa, Texas, by rigging a house with gro-lights that are typically red-flagged as equipment for hydroponic marijuana crops. A great many cop shops have thermal imaging equipment they use to see if excessive amounts of heat are coming from any local residences. They then go to work cutting corners, sometimes cooking up a case with an obliiging rat who falsely certifies that he bought dope from the residence in question. Except this time . . .
. . . the drug house had only a couple of Christmas trees, a surveillance cameras and a poster informing them of how they’d been set up.
I’m not somebody who likes to see police getting chumped, but these kinds of gro-lights are used only for marijuana cultivation, and treating home-growers as though they were Colombian drug lords is one of the most obviously rigged aspects of the lethal comedy called the war on drugs. Remove pot from the list of controlled substances and the war on drugs shrinks to a manageable crime problem. Keep it in the equation and the problem swells into a gigantic social menace that ca be used to justify ever increasing budgets, ever increasing police powers and ever increasing encroachments on privacy and civil liberties, all while affecting the national drug supply hardly at all.
Nobody’s suggesting that drug legalization won’t have its ugly aspects. But what we have now is a drug war that helps bankrupt us, encourages corruption and in poor neighborhoods fosters a predatory criminal culture that, thanks to the endless push for harsher penalties for adults, extends its hooks all the way down to children. This is an untenable situation that’s doing us lasting harm, and if groups like Kop Busters bring that to light, then more power to them.