Let It Slide?

Chad William Forber

by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

“There’s a party in my mind…And it never stops
There’s a party up there all the time…They’ll party till they drop
Other people can go home…Other people they can split
I’ll be here all the time…I can never quit.”

– “Memories Can’t Wait” by Talking Heads, written by David Byrne and Jerry Harrison

As previously discussed here at Res Ispa Loquitur, some fashion choices can be downright criminal. This time our contestant on Felony Runaway Fashions is Chad William Forber, 41, from Blue Grass, Illinois. Like our previous encounter with those who have a daring fashion sense, there is no probative legal analysis of this case and no pressing civil rights issue. Just good clean fun(ny facts).  Also some not so funny (alleged) drug use. This time our designer’s drug of choice was methamphetamines. There is nothing funny about meth. Nothing at all.

On Monday, August 7th, 2012, police officers in Rock Island, Illinois, responded to the call of a naked man at 3:27 a.m. walking in the 2200 block of 3rd Avenue. When they arrived at the scene, they found Mr. Forber, walking down the street, naked, his shorts in hand. He told the responding officers that he had taken off his shorts because they were too big and would not stay on. It’s what he opted to wear instead of his shorts that is interesting enough to make even Tim Gunn pay attention. According to Rock Island Deputy Chief of Police Jeff VenHuizen, Forber had “lathered himself up in Crisco [Cooking Spray]. He was covered in grease, and was holding the can under his arm.”  But wait!  There’s more.

“He said he was looking for a place to party,” VenHuizen added.

His party abruptly stopped when the Rock Island P.D. took him in to custody. He was charged with possession of methamphetamine, resisting or obstructing a peace officer and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $40,000, he’s currently residing in the Rock Island County Jail and his case is assigned to the Public Defender’s Office. In a bit of good luck for Forber, the charge of lewd exposure was dismissed.

While all of this is intrinsically funny as a situation, the methamphetamines they found in Forber’s short’s pocket are not funny in the slightest.  Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant drug that is classified as a Schedule II drug. Although prescribed by physicians, its uses are limited and the dosage of legitimate prescriptions are small compared to the typical dosages of abusers. It can be snorted, smoked or injected and it works by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. Much of the supply of this drug isn’t from pharmaceutical labs, but rather from home labs that are inherently dangerous and pose environmental hazards and health risks to both workers and anyone unfortunate enough to live near an illegal meth lab. Because of this “home cooking”, the drug also has the added danger of unpredictable side effects due to adulteration of the “product”. Short term use of the drug can cause increased wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite, increased respiration, rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and hyperthermia. Chronic use of the drug can cause emotional and cognitive problems which can be long lasting if not permanent including psychotic features like paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions.  Add to this extreme weight loss, severe dental problems (“meth mouth”), anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior.  It is one of the fastest growing illicit drug trades in the country today. In 1986, the DEA seized approximately 235 kilograms (518 pounds) of meth. In 2011, the DEA seized approximately 2,451 kilograms (5,404 pounds) of meth. It has become so prevalent in society that one of the most successful series on cable is “Breaking Bad”, a serio-comic drama about cancer patient Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who spirals out of control from a man reluctantly looking to provide for his family when he’s gone to full blown criminal drug lord.

On a personal note, I have one cousin who escaped meth addiction but not unscathed. He’s as mad as a hatter in addition to having numerous other health problems and is permanently disabled. I also had the disappointing news recently that two more cousins from another branch of the family have fallen under its vile thrall. It is a substance that I personally consider evil without reservation and that is a term I try to apply very narrowly.  I am for the reform of our drug laws including the legalization of certain substances, but methamphetamines are not one of them. I don’t think anyone in their right minds would consider this a drug that should be legalized after seeing the effects it has on people. It is physically and psychologically addictive and does horrible ancillary damage to the body.

It’s all very entertaining as television, but the reality is even more grim, violent and deadly than “Breaking Bad” could ever portray without driving away audience.

But is it wise to treat addiction as criminal matter rather than a health matter? Can we let methamphetamine users slide? Can we let methamphetamine production and distribution slide? Should law enforcement focus time and resources on manufactures and distributors and leave the addicts to the medical profession? Decriminalize possession for addicts but increase penalties for manufacture and distribution?

What do you think?

Sources(s): Huffington Post, Quad-City Times, NIDA, DEA

~ Submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

73 thoughts on “Let It Slide?”

  1. Blouise,

    Been watching Newsroom as well. Has its pros and cons; I can explain better in an email.

  2. About marijuana and the diamond mine workers in South Africa, I got that story second-hand but from three different individuals second-hand, ALL of them from South Africa: two South African non-miners who were “Black” and “colored” respectively, and one South African White who was a diamond mine OWNER! (Don’t know how much of a share he had, though.) They said the same thing: No rebellions, not many injuries, no fussing, no complaining against bad working conditions, good work, plenty of it, jovial workers.

  3. Also, I agree with Gary T, its been a totally one sided debate for 50+ years, it I believe a testament to how widely illicit drugs have percolated through the society over the last couple of generations that with nothing but government propaganda in all major media, that the attitude about some recreational chemicals have changed to the point that we have a virtual war being fought between the Feds (spits) and the states on this matter. What is happening in California and other states that have legalized ‘medical’ MJ is almost as if after prohibition was repealed the Treasury Dept. had continued to raid breweries. Madness.

  4. pete: “i can’t say i’ve ever heard of giving anyone marijuana to make them work harder unless they were a taste tester for frito lay. i’m also not saying they don’t.”

    At one time cane cutters in Jamaica were allowed to smoke. A study of them was done many many years ago (about 40+ years ago) that I recall reading about in, I think, the Consumer Reports book on drugs. Those that smoked worked more slowly but they worked longer, had no more accidents than non-smoking co-workers, and complained less than non-smoking co-workers. CR found it odd that the study was never considered by the US in making drug policy.

  5. Bob, Esq.,

    Been missin’ you, my good man.

    I have latched onto News Room on HBO (written by Aaron Sorkin so very liberal and fast-paced). Justified it ain’t but still a fairly good watch. If you get the chance watch a couple of the episodes and let me know what you think.

    Still have at least 5 months before we may return to the holler

  6. Show me the moral justification for treating a drug user on the same level as a rapist.

  7. “Those who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it.” If one can’t see the comparison to Prohibition and the Mafia, and our drug policies and Colombian/Mexican cartels, then they are either blind or stupid. I worked in a maximum security Federal prison[Leavenworth]. We couldn’t keep drugs out of there where there are no 4th amendment rights, then how in the name of everything holy can you keep it out of this country! Where there is demand, there will be supply. You work on the demand. There is a powerful private lobby that opposes this, it’s the liquor lobby. Then there is the private sector lobby; police, attorneys, prisons, etc. who also oppose. Our president and AG has been a bitter disappointment on this issue..bitter disappointment.

  8. “Jesus man! You don’t look for acid! Acid finds you when *it* thinks you’re ready.” – Hunter S. Thompson

  9. “The care, therefore, of every man’s soul belongs unto himself, and is to be left unto himself. But what if he neglect the care of his soul? I answer: What if he neglect the care of his health or of his estate, which things are nearlier related to the government of the magistrate than the other? Will the magistrate provide by an express law that such a one shall not become poor or sick? Laws provide, as much as is possible, that the goods and health of subjects be not injured by the fraud and violence of others; they do not guard them from the negligence or ill-husbandry of the possessors themselves. No man can be forced to be rich or healthful whether he will or no.” — J. Locke

    “All duties are either duties of right, that is, juridical duties (officia juris), or duties of virtue, that is, ethical duties (officia virtutis s. ethica). Juridical duties are such as may be promulgated by external legislation; ethical duties are those for which such legislation is not possible. The reason why the latter cannot be properly made the subject of external legislation is because they relate to an end or final purpose, which is itself, at the same time, embraced in these duties, and which it is a duty for the individual to have as such. But no external legislation can cause any one to adopt a particular intention, or to propose to himself a certain purpose; for this depends upon an internal condition or act of the mind itself.” — Immanuel Kant

    “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

    Punish the drug user? For what trespass would that be?

  10. Woosty, I am a libertarian who follows Christ. I have experimented with marihuana in the past, it definitely opened my eyes to the lies people told me about drugs in school. I questioned their claims about ALL drugs after I realized they lied to me about the dangers of marihuana. Luckily I didn’t have a death wish and stopped at marihuana. I’m now 30 years old and haven’t smoked weed more than a handful of times in 7 years. I would help those who want help and never stop loving those who don’t until they do. My posts may seem slightly psychopathic, but only because I like to boil things down to their basic essence, it helps to foment wider understanding. I agree with the posters advocating a multi-yeared approach to RE-legalization. It will be a shock to the system and we will have to prepare for it.

  11. Malisha

    in south america they give workers coca leaves to chew on. in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s black dockworkers would buy small amounts of cocaine to work faster.

    also i believe in asia workers were given small amounts of opium for smoking because it helps with back breaking, repetitious work.

    i can’t say i’ve ever heard of giving anyone marijuana to make them work harder unless they were a taste tester for frito lay. i’m also not saying they don’t. different strains produce different reactions.

    maybe you can see where i’m going with this. many people start using crystal meth because of work overloads. it will help you get through the day (or night), at least at first. it’s cheaper than cocaine, or at least it used to be, and you don’t have to do as much. generally speaking meth is not diluted or stepped on as much as coke.

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