Marianas Variety

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    Tuesday, August 21, 2018-11:39:10P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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OPINION: Dear feds: Seized monies belong to CNMI community

I WILL the first to thank the Feds for catching the ice dealers and I truly appreciate their work but I am writing this too humbly and respectfully ask the Feds to reconsider their request to lay claims on the monies seized in the CNMI.

I’m not contesting the right of the Feds to ask for the money since they were the ones who caught the drug dealer and seized the money but that money is more like a “reward” to the Feds for simply doing their job that they already have a budget for. I am saying the money seized actually came from the junkies of the CNMI who had preyed on the CNMI to get the monies to pay for the ice. All of that money seized came from some of the poorest people in the CNMI and from criminal schemes, robberies and thief against people and businesses in the CNMI.

The Feds should seriously think about donating that money to help “victims of ice crimes that are on record like the spouses & children of Ice addicts, the Drug Court and the Social & Educational Support Services” who are fighting the ice epidemic in the CNMI.  PREVENTION is the best cure for this social epidemic of ice use, not locking people up AFTER they have already become addicted.  Education is the “undisputed champion of social reforms” and has been the most important factor for improving society since the establishment of first civilized societies. The more people learn, know and understand a phenomena the better off our human species become — we get better and like I used to tell my students “you have to be smarter than your parents as that is how our world and society continues to improve.” We only need to reflect on how each new generation makes social leaps of improvements. Heck, we finally LEARNED the truth about marijuana and how it is helpful and not harmful unlike the adverse vices of alcohol & tobacco to our health. We are finally LEARNING HOW to live with marijuana instead of locking people up — KUDOS for mankind.  There is also an old saying of wisdom that rings TRUE with this seized money issue which says: “an ounce of prevention (education and support services) is worth a pound of cure (laws & jail) as jail-time does make some quit but not all,” as all are never caught.

I raised this same issue in my book “The Audacity to Change” as millions upon millions in drug money is being seized on the mainland every year. But instead of putting the money back into the poverty stricken areas from which most of the money came Local Law Enforcement and the Feds gobble it all up — create jobs so people won’t have to deal drugs just to make ends meet and social programs for prevention.  This phenomena of the Feds taking the money is not a new thing but a “tradition” that really needs to change because the true challenge is prevention, not locking users up who get caught after they are hooked.  We can NEVER catch them all but we can bombard society with so much education and support that we can reach all the present and potential users of ice and all the hard drugs. Guam is now dealing with cocaine and ice and we are just a stone’s throw away so the challenge is only going to increase. I’m praying heroin doesn’t show-up it is the worse of all.

I was so glad when they seized that Ice that was worth over four million because the CNMI community was going to pay for every bit of it — for TRUE! If the Feds truly need the money I can understand their request but I am hopeful they will reconsider putting the money back into the source from which it came — the CNMI Community and your battles to get rid of Ice will be far less and even easier in the future. One people & one Government one direction for putting seized money back into the community where it can do the MOST Good!

PS: Maybe our Drug Court should challenge (or) ask for the forfeited money so they can use it and to disburse it to victims, Education Institutions and Support Programs & Services.

The writer is a resident of Kagman, Saipan.