Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Columns

December 16, 2012

VASICEK: Human trafficking, legal marijuana in America

Getting the word out on two Main Street issues

I was driving home from Christmas shopping when I saw my friend Emil at the door. Unlike his brother Elmer, I consider it a pleasure to chat with Emil.

“Ed, got time to shoot the breeze?” he inquired.

“Sure do. I am armed with some newspaper clippings. How about you?”

“I’ll begin,” started Emil. “Did you see this article about marijuana regulation? This is from UPI, and it reads: ‘Sixty-four percent of Americans said they oppose federal enforcement of marijuana laws in states where smoking marijuana is legal, Gallup said.

“‘Americans who say they think marijuana should be legal overwhelmingly said the federal government should not get involved at the state level, as do 4 in 10 of those opposed to decriminalized marijuana, results of the USA Today-Gallup poll…’”

“That’s crazy,” I lunged. “Legalizing marijuana will increase use, not decrease it; a lot of folks do not mess with marijuana precisely because it is illegal. Legalization could force drug dealers to push harder stuff; they are not going to surrender their cash cow. When Prohibition ended, criminal organizations pushed worse stuff, like drugs. Same will happen here.”

“Maybe, but I think it’s terrible for the federal government to trump the states,” Emil argued.

“Emil, the federal government does that with the new health care law. It does it with education, and it does it with immigration. As a matter of fact, Uncle Sam messes with the states a lot. It cannot be both ways. Why should this be any different?”

“Ed,” Emil replied, “even the state sheriff suggested making weed legal. Don’t you read the Kokomo Tribune?”

“I read it,” I replied. “I do see the positive side: Legalization could help our justice system to focus on more serious matters. But I think the negatives outweigh the positives.”

“Ed, the only pot you have is your pot belly. Let’s move on.”

“OK, Emil. But let me change gears and direct our thoughts toward a solemn matter. Did you hear about that woman who helped rescue hundreds of sex slaves in Argentina? The AP ran this article:

“‘Susana Trimarco’s … daughter … never came back. After getting little help from police, Trimarco launched her own investigation into a tip that the 23-year-old was abducted and forced into sex slavery. Soon, Trimarco was visiting brothels seeking clues about her daughter and the search took an additional goal: rescuing sex slaves and helping them start new lives.

“‘What began as a one-woman campaign a decade ago developed into a movement and Trimarco today is a hero to hundreds of women she’s rescued from Argentine prostitution rings. She’s been honored with the “Women of Courage” award by the U.S. State Department and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on Nov. 28.’”

“Ed, this is so sad to think about, and the story bittersweet,” Emil answered soberly. “On the positive side, there is a growing movement to fight human trafficking around the world. It is building momentum. Back around two hundred years ago, there was a growing movement to eliminate slavery. I think we might see a similar success.”

“I hope so. Although we think of countries like Thailand, India or Argentina – where the problem is epidemic – Christianity Today ran an article on the problem here in the US:

““‘Most Americans do not realize that child trafficking is a major problem on Main Street USA,” said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, at a February congressional hearing. “These kids are victims. This is 21st-century slavery.”

“‘Researchers estimate that between 100,000 and 300,000 American children are trafficked within the U.S. each year. There is credible evidence, based on arrest statistics and field research, that sex trafficking is getting worse and that U.S. children under age 18 compose the largest segment of trafficking victims in the U.S.’”

“Sure is tragic,” Emil reflected. “We really need to get the word out.”

Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@att.net.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • STATE SEN. JIM BUCK: Changes pave way to a brighter future In recent legislative sessions, Indiana has enacted substantial policy reforms that resulted in greater economic freedom and stronger economic growth. Economic growth has real implications for Hoosier families: jobs for those unemployed; promotions f

    April 24, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: U.S. networks struggle to cover economic news Network television newsrooms often must cover stories for which they have no internal experts. That's why aeronautic engineers and pilots are put on the air to analyze airplane emergencies. Judges and lawyers are paraded out to discuss whatever sensa

    April 24, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: You've gotta keep 'em separated

    In my career as a journalist I have served my time reporting on city council, county supervisor and state regulatory meetings, to name just a few. Whatever else they might have been, they weren’t holy places. In the many, many hours I spent there I never felt the presence of anything that might be described as transcendent or spiritual.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: A committee of 10 picked Ind. capital Editor's note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. Anyone who's ever served on a committee can relate to the old laugh line: A committee is a group of people who keep minutes a

    April 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Judge in gay marriage decision is no activist When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn't

    April 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Turner ethics case tests bounds of 'citizen legislature' When a legislative ethics panel meets this week to review the case of House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner, members could have trouble finding clear-cut answers, in large part because of the Indiana General Assembly's status as a "citizen legislature."

    April 22, 2014

  • Cleaning up Indiana could be as easy as a bottle deposit Scan the roadside on a drive through the Wabash Valley, and you might spot an empty pop bottle or two. Or two dozen. Or 200. Drink bottles have become our litter du jour. They compose an estimated 40 to 60 percent of all litter, according to the Mich

    April 21, 2014

  • Wolfsie: High-tech got you down? I love where I bank. It’s a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 21, 2014

  • Vasicek: Celebrating Easter I have shared a few bits of Easter humor over the years, so I thought I’d start with a new one. Joseph of Arimathea was the wealthy Pharisee who is famous for helping to bury the body of Jesus. He procured the body, asking Pilate’s permission, and, w

    April 20, 2014

  • DAY: God trusted us with them Well, you heard about my wife and I, and our families from the past, so it is time for me to tell you about two of the prettiest girls I have ever known. They are our daughters Debbie and Patty. They are the greatest gifts from God that we have had i

    April 19, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Kangaroo Rescued From Swimming Pool Raw: 3 American Doctors Killed in Afghanistan Raw: Obama Arrives at State Dinner in Tokyo Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Raw: Obama Visits Meiji Shrine in Tokyo Stars Talk Guns N' Roses at Golden Gods New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888 Oregon Gay Marriage Ban Goes to Court SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller