Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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
  • DAVE BANGERT: Indiana's new chief justice and court's 'mom question' Two years ago, as Loretta Rush ascended from Tippecanoe Superior Court 3 judge to the state’s Supreme Court, I dropped this line in a column celebrating someone who had earned her place.“Across the state, the headline will be: ‘[Mitch] Daniels Choose

    August 14, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: POTUS promises of transparency fail to materialize The United States system of government relies on citizens having full access to information that can be used in self-governance. Journalists and other First Amendment advocates were enthused when the Obama administration came into office with convinc

    August 14, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: RIP Robin Williams

    I was re-watching the 2006 movie “Little Miss Sunshine” Monday when I heard my phone buzz. After the credits had rolled, I looked at the screen and found myself shocked.It was a news alert that Robin Williams had died that morning at the age of 63 of an apparent suicide.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: 'Paddle Your Own Canoe' is a Hoosier inspiration

    Editor’s note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. James Whitcomb Riley was the most acclaimed, but he wasn’t the first Hoosier poet to gain national fame. Sarah T. Bolton dese

    August 13, 2014

  • DAVE BANGERT: Rokita, illegal immigration, Ebola outbreak and context At first listen last Monday, there was something so unsavory about our congressman, Todd Rokita, whipping up two full-fledged crises — Central American children at the U.S. southern border and the African scourge of Ebola — into one pungent sound bit

    August 12, 2014

  • DAN COATS: Let's give nonprofits relief from IRS delays A flurry of scandal has recently surrounded the Internal Revenue Service.Over the past few months, we have learned about missing emails from IRS employees and revelations of clear bias and hostility by a top IRS official towards organizations with ce

    August 12, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Pitchforks and pikes in our summer of discontent Congress is ... embarrassing. Our political system is failing us. On an individual basis, many of us have respect for members of our delegation. We can have a common sense conversation with a senator, congressman or congresswoman, and then they go ba

    August 11, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Enough reminders to forget It began with a simple phone call to my friend, Auri, a computer geek I asked to help me with my very successful website, which right now is attracting up to three visitors a month. To have a strong online presence, you have to spend several hours a

    August 11, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Outsourced jobs, health crises in foreign lands The other week, my Internet was giving me trouble. I called the support number, and — to my surprise — I spoke to a representative who sounded as American as apple pie. It turned out the technical problem was an oversight on my end and fixed quickly.

    August 10, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Dodging corporate taxes Corporations are among our oldest institutions. Something like a joint stock company probably triggered the earliest formal written communication — the accounting ledger. It should be unsurprising that the early traders of Mesopotamia used a corporat

    August 10, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit TX Gov Perry in Washington: 'Confident' in Case Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Raw: Shots Fired in Liberian Shantytown DOJ, Bank of America Reach Record Settlement Raw: Cubavision Airs Images of Fidel Castro Raw: Grief After Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Kathy Griffin Challenges Minaj to 'a Booty Off' Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers
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