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Why daddy has to go to jail May 12, 2012

Posted by Ezra Resnick in Freedom, Law, Politics.
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I’m sorry, child, but your daddy broke the law: he ingested an illegal substance. The penalty may seem harsh, but you need to understand that our country is fighting a major epidemic: millions of people are suffering and dying, lives are destroyed, families torn apart. The law is there to protect society, to deter citizens from engaging in dangerous behavior. Your father, sadly, is part of the problem: he’s a junkie. The moment he bit into that doughnut, your daddy became a legitimate target in the government’s War on Fried Food.

It’s true that your daddy’s crime was nonviolent and didn’t directly harm others. But to legalize such self-destructive behavior would be to give it the government’s seal of approval, essentially telling everyone that it’s perfectly okay to eat unhealthy food. Not on my watch! We need to look out for one another — by stopping people from doing what’s bad for them.

It’s true that criminalizing fried food hasn’t significantly reduced the number of users, due to an omnipresent black market. (Beware of people holding greasy paper bags in the park at night!) For every dealer we shut down, another one always crops up, since the demand for that junk is never-ending. It’s also true that a black market spawns violence and corruption. And it’s true that food produced by an unregulated black market is bound to be less safe and less healthy than it would otherwise be. However, we can’t let practical problems compromise our principles; we can’t give in and let the criminals win! We’ll just have to lock up more people for longer.

It’s true that policing, prosecuting and incarcerating fried food offenders costs tons of money, and distracts our law enforcement officials from focusing on violent crime and terrorism. But that is a price we have to pay — we can’t sit back and do nothing while people eat fried food freely on every street corner of our community!

It’s true that some people claim they can live normative, fulfilling lives while consuming some fried foods in moderation, and they feel that the resulting pleasurable experiences are worth the health risks. But that path leads to damnation! It might seem like having some cannoli after dinner once a week is no big deal, but it’s a slippery slope: before you know it, you’ll be eating a bucket of fried chicken wrapped in bacon with super-size fries for breakfast every morning, and begging for a heart transplant before you’re thirty. We need to protect people from themselves.

I’m sorry, child, but the only responsible policy here is “zero tolerance.” We must shame, threaten, stigmatize and punish fried food users, until they change their unhealthy ways. This is war, and we intend to win — even if it takes us a hundred years and a trillion dollars. So say goodbye to daddy, and remember: if anyone ever offers you a potato chip or an onion ring — Just Say No! And then call the cops.

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1. david resnick - May 12, 2012

see the New Yorker article of half a year ago about the decriminalizing of heroin in Portugal.


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