Secret of Survival
It was a sunny, beautiful day in late November. The sky was blue and there were just a few wispy promises of clouds high in the sky. I stood barefoot in the driveway, our two-year-old daughter in my arms. She cuddled against me, still drowsy from napping in the car.
It did not play out as you see on television. They did not come with their jackboots and battering rams. They did not break down our door or throw us to the floor, handcuff or arrest us. They did not draw their guns or shout at us, and the neighbors would only have known something was amiss if they were actively watching outside. The fact that they did not do any of those things did not make us any less terrified on that Monday in late November 2008, just a few days before Thanksgiving, when the Clandestine Lab Task Force raided our basement marijuana-growing operation.
Welcome to the drug war.
By the end of our two-year-long experience, we had lost more than $30,000 in income and legal fees, struggled to keep our home and family intact, and were forced to declare bankruptcy. But our family is still together – and we still have our home. We continue to rebuild ourselves financially and emotionally – together – because of this I consider our family to be one of the lucky ones.
Each day, across this nation, hundreds of thousands of people are being arrested, threatened with imprisonment, losing their jobs, their homes, and personal belongings. They are being labeled criminals, their constitutional rights are being violated, and their families are ripped apart.
Between 2001 and 2010, there have been 8.2 million arrests for marijuana, 88% of those for just marijuana, no other drugs, weapons or violations.
Over 750,000 people in the United States are currently incarcerated for varying degrees of marijuana possession while murderers, rapists, and pedophiles often walk free due to ‘overcrowding.’ While Ponzi schemes earn house arrests and visits to country club prisons, untold thousands of children are suffering in one-parent households or find themselves at the mercy of an inadequate foster care system when their fathers and mothers are incarcerated. Drug task forces and police officers are allowed to confiscate possessions of our nation’s citizens and call it justice-putting the onus of proof on the citizen if they ever hope to have the items or monies back.
Except for our names, Dave and Christine Shuck, I have changed all the names in this book. I did it to protect the innocent … and the guilty … I’ll let you decide which is which.
This book is about our experiences in the two plus years that followed our bust as we progressed through the Cass County Adult Drug Court program. However, it is more than that-it is more than just an account of one family in a small Midwest town who decided to ignore the law. It is about one of the greatest ethical and legal battles plaguing this country in the last century.
In the two years that followed the bust-we would struggle to pay our bills. We would see first-hand the games and gross manipulations of our freedom done in the name of justice and rehabilitation.
In the last days of 2008, we found ourselves faced with a choice-we could go to prison or we could go through drug court. We entered drug court with great trepidation, with preconceived notions, and hard feelings, and found that life was not as simple as black and white, good or evil, or even courts and criminals. We walked away from the experience changed and with powerful lessons learned.
Welcome to the war on drugs.
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