Tuesday, March 14, 2006
And in Other (Ironic) News
Remember that place I worked at? You know the one...where I got fired for blogging?
Remember me talking about the meth crisis in Cherokee County and how the court system was failing the people by giving them ridiculous fines and no assistance in getting treatment?


Remember how I always have said that a court system that relishes putting drug offenders on probation for drug abuse with no alternate recourses will merely revolve the doors at the jail?
Remember how 85% of my probation cases were all meth-related?

How about what I was saying in regards to the devestation of meth in tiny, rural communities where everyone knows everyone else?

How the judges have grown up with the offenders and the attorneys go hunting with the judges?

Well. It's just getting worse up in Cherokee county. Meth use is rampant. All sorts of people are on it. Everyone knows everyone else. I wonder how much longer that has to go on before people start demanding help along with criminal conviction after criminal conviction. Other counties in far-off states have come to realize that meth, being the epidemic it is, can't merely be battled with five year probation sentences. It's going to take some money, foresight, and revolutionary beliefs to turn Cherokee County around.

We're losing our small towns to this dangerous drug. Until the people most afflicted with this horrid disease start demanding help from the authorities who are continually 'busting' them, it will only grow worse.

I drove up to my old haunt yesterday on business of my own. I drove through that tiny, sad town. I don't hate it anymore. I'm paranoid as hell, still, but I mostly feel sorry for it. I feel sorry for the people who are so adamant about protecting their small-town life that they have failed to see the danger of isolation. Canton's main street is like a ghost town, and a business just across the street from my old office was recently raided for meth. How many souls will it take to fill up the jails? How many abusers of meth will take the standard five year probation sentence, 5000 dollar fine, and mandatory drug treatment classes they pay for out of their own pockets?

How many court-appointed attorneys will start advocating instead of pushing people through the system?

What has to happen to make it STOP instead of furthering the cycle?

All of Georgia's politicians seem to handle every crisis in the same manner, and this goes for other social diseases, as well as criminal behavior. We don't think 'prevention'. We think 'crisis control' and 'how much money is involved'. What is reaped is stunted evolution. Cherokee county will always be that tiny, sad place, no matter how many huge subdivisions go up and how many new strip malls appear. In a county where there are NO BOOKSTORES and too many shelled out gas stations, there is naught but strife.

Man. I thank God I'm no longer stuck in the rut that is Cherokee County. But I'm still worried about the Average Joe's and Jane's. They deserve better, and they deserve to fight for what's right. Unfortunately, speaking one's mind in Cherokee County is almost a Scarlett Letter.
Frankly, I'm surprised I lasted as long as I did.

From Sunny Acres photography (Helen Meeks)

(Did she take this with a disposable camera and forget how to frame a shot?)

This is NOT the business earlier mentioned. This is merely one segment of the sad main street of Canton, Georgia. Sadly enough, I can remember smaller towns up North with much more bustling and refreshed looking buildings. Perhaps, it is a Southern Thing. Perhaps, it is a Money Thing. Whatever it is, it's depressing.

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