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
  • SEN. JIM BUCK: New laws offer help for kids Families with children who have special needs often face difficulties finding the best care or treatment for their specific circumstance. During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several initiatives to assist these fam

    July 24, 2014

  • BILL STANCZYKIEWICZ: Youth sports leagues are on troubling decline An important youth development activity is looking to end a recent losing streak. Participation in organized youth sports leagues for baseball, football, basketball and soccer declined by 4 percent between 2008-2012, according to a report in the Wall

    July 24, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 23, 2014

  • CECIL BOHANON: Spend down surplus? Been there, done that Back in 1998, the state of Indiana had more than $1.3 billion in surplus funds in its general account. This was about 57 days of state spending. The state had total surplus funds of more than $2 billion that was over 24 percent of its annual operatin

    July 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Indiana Democrats deal with divide on education On the face of it, the battles between Democratic Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and supporters and staff of Republican Gov. Mike Pence have been a unifying force for Indiana Democrats. But the scrapping has exposed a deep rift within the party o

    July 22, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Is Evan Bayh contemplating another gubernatorial run? This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Chairman Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of Indianapoli

    July 21, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Please go away already My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven't caught up. I don't have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

    July 21, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Internet, and future of communication One morning, I was chatting with some retired folks and the subject of paying bills on the Internet came up. One woman said she disposed of her computer years ago and pays her bills by mail. I commented she could get by just fine doing that. The othe

    July 20, 2014

  • FAITH BRAUTIGAM: Learning from others' mistakes through literature If you’ve ever been locked out of somewhere — your home, your car, your workplace — I expect you could tell me all the details of the incident, even if it was years or decades ago. Why? Our brains remember major events, and it’s a big deal to be stra

    July 20, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
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