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A Cultural Reflection: The Crimes They Are AChangin’

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A Cultural Reflection: The Crimes They Are AChangin’

Los Angeles Civil and Criminal Defense Attorney Mary Masi contributed this interesting article.   Thanks, Mary.mary masi 2.jpg

      The measure of a society is to a degree reflected by how its vulnerable people are treated under the law. In the modern world, society is also measured by the character and prevalence of its crimes and misdemeanors.  Without a doubt, drug and alcohol related crimes are the most prevalent today. 

       Outlaws used to rob banks and railroad cars, but in October 2010 a pharmaceutical truck was robbed and the driver was kidnapped.  The thieves stole only vicodin and OxyContin, a painkiller thought of as synthetic heroin.  The crimes they are a changin’.

      Also in October, 52 people were arrested for organized crime racketeering involving Medicare fraud.  Some of them may face allegations of forged prescription sales involving OxyContin.  Racketeering for prescriptions? This is a cultural wake-up call without a snooze option.

     The modern news is filled with cases similar to those discussed above, and heaven knows our jails and prisons are filled with people who never would have done whatever sent them there had they not been under the influence.  Again, alcohol and drug related crimes and misdemeanors account for approximately 90% of American crimes committed.  How did this happen?

          Since the 1960s pop culture has reflected a degree of “cool” rebellion in the illegal use of drugs and excessive use of alcohol to get high.  Currently, one of the saddest modern trends is the self-imposed choking asphyxiation game.  In Wheat Ridge, Colorado a teenager was criminally charged with reckless endangerment when she performed the choking game on her friend Gabrielle Abuzhars.  What a cultural STOP sign!

         There are healthy alternatives to soothing and stimulating the oversized and often over-active human brain.  For openers, simple exercise works pretty well.   John J Ratey, MD,  Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School authored the book “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.”  He stated: “Be clear.  My analysis of the findings and testimonies and stories make it clear that exercise can play a huge role in the initial withdrawal, the initial and prolonged dealing with cravings, and offer a substitute activity addiction, like AA to help repopulate the frontal cortex choices of what and how to respond to eventual stressful situations, and losses.”    

           Statistically, Alcoholics Anonymous has the highest success rate in the long-term treatment of alcoholism and addiction.  It would appear to be a no-brainer that exercise and nutrition can play an important treatmentenhancementrole.  There are also other creative alternatives for treatment enhancement.  We as a society clearly need to use our healthy brains to develop more.  It sure would help if some of the alternatives were perceived as “cool.”    So, how exactly does a society make exercise, nutrition, and other healthier alternatives “cooler” than getting high?  How about if a few more rock stars and former bad girls were selected to do some Nike commercials? We can do it – one step at a time.  

 About the Author:

Mary Masi is a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer specializing in DUI and drug related cases and alternative sentencing.  In 2011, she also won dismissal of all fraud, conspiracy, and racketeering claims valued at over $100 million dollars for her clients in Los Angeles who were greatly relieved.  www.marymasilaw.com 

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