We all know the greats, Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, and hell even Robin Hood. What of the other criminals throughout history that have inspired people for decades? Do people even stop to think that the first president of the United States was a criminal who was accused of treason, murder, and theft? No. Those founding fathers, that so many exalt even while others try to defame them, were all honestly criminals – criminal philosophers. They knew they had to start a rough draft when they brought the constitution and the bill of rights into play – that it would require being plastic enough to fit its environment. Yet in today’s rigid policies concerning the criminal entrepreneur in this nation our founding fathers would have been sent home jobless. America is the land of opportunity – until you break the law then it is the land of “good luck!” This is against the spirit of the Constitution and what the founding fathers stood for. Modern moves for the legalization of hemp as a product have raised many questions for the people of America. One of the foremost questions relates to offenders and the opportunities in the hemp industry – can a person busted for marijuana be banned from the production and manufacture of hemp products?
What does it say if it does? What does it say if it doesn’t? Do people ever consider these before they decide where they stand on the matter? Probably not. We have a tendency to immediately and unquestionably toe the line – but what are the principles we are standing for? When one stands for a free America it is hard to excuse the exclusionary tactic of the well off to exclude the possible up and coming low class outsiders. If criminals are so horrible that gainful employment should be denied them then to what end is the prison industrial complex so called “rehabilitation?” Selling drugs is an actual integral part of the economic growth of the nation. Billions of dollars in revenue are generated by the illegal drugs, stimulating the legal economy. If one follows the full web of economics and crime – especially the illegal drugs – they can see there are many, many, legitimate businesses that entirely depend on crime. Home security, insurance, police, the prison industrial complex, justice system, lawyers, and security agencies. So many companies are defined by standing in opposition to the criminal that the criminal has become an integral cog in the machine. With the economy depending on the criminal so heavily does it make sense to not allow them to branch out into the legitimate world instead of forcing them to stay with the one career path? A person busted for distribution can’t get a job in distribution? If a man can sell crack in high stress situations couldn’t he reasonably handle sales of high end legitimate products? Well he can never find out if he has been busted. This is as illogical as not allowing professional killers to join the military for their sentence instead of making a killer out of an engineer.
When the methodology is illogical we must adapt and overcome, but what if the law is worded to be rigid and unfavorable to adaptation? According to the principles of evolution it must die – rigidity is a sure sign of impending extinction. The bill as it is worded gives people the ability to grow unless they have been convicted of a felonious crime regarding controlled substances state or federal. It also gives authority to the secretary to regulate the farming of hemp but makes a felon ineligible to grow under stated authority. In plain English, even if a future secretary wanted to allow these particular felons to join in the agricultural field of hemp, the bill is worded so they aren’t eligible for that authoritative amendment –lines 8,9,and 10 – instead it will require tax dollars to amend the bill to give the secretary the authority this bill attempts to in spirit but in letter hobbles. The only way we as the people can persevere is if we can see where they stand and reasonably understand why they stand there. The evil criminal that is a shadowy figure and never the house wife or father that stands before you with the convictions needed to exclude them. They can’t see the human element because of tribal “otherising,” this is done often in politics where a person is only their most hated label and nothing more. They fear the hardcore cartel grower becoming a federally subsidized grower giving legitimacy to a murderous group of uncontrolled killers. Reasonable fear, but aren’t there ways of screening? Instead of a blanket exclusionary tactic we could utilize a precise screening process that will monitor and regulate the coming and going of flagged farmers yet in the true American spirit allow men and women the second chance that making a former criminal exploit into a legitimate dynasty for one’s family to inherit. America was born of a criminal act by traitors and criminals who broke the system to replace it with a better one, let us not fall into a rigid system that forces law breaks and amendments through poor foresight (as we have with the legal immigration process turning half the immigrants to illegals because of poor bureaucratic efficiency).
In conclusion we all, as the citizens of this nation, stand on the precipice of true reform and freedom – the American criminal IS the American entrepreneur. We choose to go into legit business and we have the alternative route of crime if you have the talents and connections. Yet the American citizen isn’t allowed a smooth transition from gang enforcer to police officer – despite the exact same job description. We need to have the chance to prove we are not a nation built on the backs of the downtrodden and the low men – that when the prison releases you the debt has been payed and you are now reformed. If the debt is paid why then are there continuing and ever-increasing restrictions constricting the freedom to go legit? We must address both the fears of the men and women who would limit the legitimate activities of the American reformed criminal and of the reformed criminal going legit. The number one barrier against recidivism is the gainful employment and a fulfilling career for the EX con. By adding on more and more penalties to a law long ago broken the criminal is being prosecuted in a manner that could not be foreseen – they could not have possibly made an informed decision before committing the crime. Believe it or not the punishment of certain crimes set up boundaries for the professional criminal. This is more the kind of thing one expects to see under a dictatorship not the land of the free home of the brave. United we stand – are we a nation that believes in continuous punishment or do we truly believe in the rehabilitation prison is supposed to bring about? It is not the prison pumping out criminals – it is the world, after they get a look at their record, who won’t give you a job doing better than cleaning up fecal matter that is responsible for the creation of more criminal acts than any crime university (prison).
– M. Brace – 07/02/2018