Back to the Basics in Preventing Crime

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Vermont has been the victim of a failed “progressive” experiment that has led to a dramatic increase in drug and sex trafficking, gang activity, and decimation of police protection and morale. This has cost lives from overdose, and increased murder, rape, and robberies while destroying businesses and discouraging productive enterprises from locating their operations here. The solution to a crime wave is to increase crime prevention.

This would seem to be common sense, yet voices that have warned against decarceration, eliminating cash bail, softening probation, and defunding the police have been scorned by a progressive cacophony claiming “equity” and an end to Vermont’s alleged (but nonexistent) “systemic white supremacy.” Burlington has become a shell of its former beauty, yet voters reinstalled Sarah George as prosecutor, ensuring the deterioration will continue.

I am not unsympathetic to criminal defendants and the conditions which lead people to commit crimes. I have lived in high crime areas, and worked as a criminal defense attorney for years with a very busy law practice. At that time I saw that criminal laws were too tough, especially against nonviolent drug offenders. This is why I stood firm about legalizing cannabis as a conservative, why I trained as a Vermont Recovery Coach, and why I strongly advocate for more counseling services for those in Medically Assisted Treatment.

But the pendulum has now swung much too far in the opposite direction: teenagers commit more crimes than adults, yet Vermont now charges young adults as children for most crimes. Meanwhile, probation has become a joke, inmates are offered synthetic opioids easily, police are condemned as racists and defunded, and prostitution is being legalized in two Vermont cities. This is creating a perfect storm to invite criminals and crime to the Green Mountain State, and the impact is not limited to Vermont’s urban pockets  — it is seeping into our rural mountain communities.

Seven Days just reported an increase in methamphetamine use:

The true scope of meth’s reach is not fully understood, as opioids draw most of the state’s attention and resources. … Mexican cartels figured out how to produce purer, cheaper and more lethal versions of the drug on an industrial scale. … As the western U.S. was flooded with potent meth in the early 2010s and street prices plummeted, the cartels began seeking untapped markets. They looked to the Northeast, where the opioid epidemic was already well under way.

Mexico has become the world’s kingpin producer of “Mexican White” heroin and fentanyl, and lax border restrictions enable huge quantities of these drugs to be distributed through a very effective gang distribution system to Vermont. Newspaper headlines are filled with out-of-state defendants charged with selling these deadly wares to white Vermonters dying in droves, but “social justice” racialization means the obvious gang connections are ideologically whitewashed from the media even as police are falsely labeled racists for interdiction.

This is a nasty recipe for more crime, drugs, and sexual predation – all three are inseparable bedfellows, as Prohibition of alcohol proved a century ago. However well-intentioned, this radical Progressive experiment of recruiting criminals to enjoy a Vermont crime spree has failed horribly and must be reversed post haste. This is particularly true with regard to methamphetamines.

The pharmaceutical industry that seeded the substance abuse epidemic with dishonestly-marketed addictive synthetic opioids like Oxycontin and Oxycodone has come full circle and now distributes growing amounts of synthetic opioids suboxone and methadone at public expense. But there is no synthetic methadone to wean abusers off cheap Mexican methamphetamine, which is arguably a more insidious and dangerous drug even than fentanyl: fentanyl kills, but opioid addicts can be cured. Methamphetamine use causes psychosis and paranoia, and eventually leads to permanent damage to the brain – there is no coming back for many who become dangerous to themselves and others for life.

This is a life sentence that cannot be cured by new pharmaceuticals, counseling or other treatments. It can ONLY be treated by prevention. Vermont must continue efforts to educate youth about the particular perils of meth, but that alone will not counter a rise in distribution by organized businesses known as “street gangs.” Vermont headlines often display the same repeat out-of-state offenders from Chicago and New York City for a simple reason: drug dealing is a big-money, tax-exempt business by intelligent and calculating entrepreneurs who know an easy buck when they see one. Vermont is enticing them to come here with big profit margins and laughable criminal justice responses: these business people will prey on white-privileged naivete til the cows come home.

I recently warned about the growing threat to Vermont of methamphetamine trafficking:

Vermont’s progressive “movement” has already created a perfect environment for increased drug addiction and related crime. … Vermont’s progressive extremists are creating a welcoming invitation for drug traffickers, while rabidly seeking to whittle away Vermonters’ rights to protect themselves with firearms. Everything is upside down — a perfect environment for the wrong kind of commerce.

I am not unsympathetic about the sufferings of drug abusers. I am sympathetic to preventing our families and children being destroyed by becoming addicted. I also sympathize with young girls enticed to sell their bodies for the allure of cash, fame, and attention, and for the vulnerable businesses and homeowners who are being traumatized by growing property crime.

The only solution to reverse course in this ideologically-addled plunge toward anarchy and mass victimization is the same as throughout all human history: restore balanced law and order, before the pendulum swings yet further into chaos.

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