Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Support the Dope

Jerry Stratton, May 20, 2003

I normally don’t answer my apartment phone, as it’s usually junk calls. All of my friends know to call me on my cell phone. But I was expecting a call from a friend who just came in from overseas, so I broke that rule. Turned out to be a junk call--from the California Narcotics Officers Association (or something like that).

Back when I used to answer my phone, I always enjoyed this call.

We made small talk first, you know, “how are you doing,” “Fine, how are you?”, “Fine, thanks for asking.” Then he got down to asking me for money (I assume, as we didn’t get that far.) He told me how we’re winning the war on drugs, and the most important thing in winning the war on drugs is stopping “the dope” from coming in over the border, and also putting the dealers in jail.

That’s the exact phrase he used. “The dope.” I thought I was receiving a telephone call straight out of the fifties.

“You support that, don’t you?” he asked.

Anyone who has read any of my other editorials knows what I said to that. I responded, “No, I support the dope’ wholeheartedly.”

In the past, this is when the conversation would have ended. He would have politely thanked me for my time and hung up. This time, he kept on going.

“Oh, well, we’re mainly concerned with the cocaine and heroin.”

“Well, I support those, too.”

“Okay, sir, well, you have a nice day.”

“You have a nice day, too. Thanks for calling.”

I’ve had this conversation before, though not in a few years since, as I said, I don’t normally answer that phone. What I found most interesting this time was that he had a response. He assumed that by “dope” I meant marijuana and he was ready to concede that. The last time I answered their call, they politely hung up as soon as I mentioned opposing a war on any drug.

I don’t know if that’s good or bad. On the one hand, it means law enforcement is acknowledging that some people do not support the war on drugs. On the other hand, it means that they think that there are people who oppose prohibition who still oppose it only for one drug, my drug, but not their drug, that’s dangerous.

As long as we oppose prohibition of our victimless crime but not their victimless crime, I’ll continue to receive calls from the Narcotics Officers Association.

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