December 22, 2018
Dragnet meets the Drug Warby Ballard Quass
Just the propaganda, ma'am. Just the propaganda.
This is the city, Los Angeles California. A quiet town full of hard-working Americans who still know the meaning of the word "obey." That said, there are always a few renegades who attempt to improve their lives through the unsanctioned use of natural substances such as poppies and mushrooms. That's where I come in, guns a-blazin'. My name is Friday and I carry a Sig Sauer 556 Classic SWAT rifle with a 30-round magazine and a Viridian laser sight.
Wednesday, June 21, 1 p.m.
FRIDAY: We had just gotten the call here at DEA HQ. It seems some octogenarian hippy from the north side was using psychoactive plants to improve her spiritual life. Claims she's in a "blue funk" and wants to see behind the so-called "veil of Maya" before she dies.
I decided to pay grandma a visit, see if I could talk some sense into her - or better yet, catch her red-handed with the goodies and thus shut her away for life, lest young people everywhere should infer from her ongoing freedom that they too can use natural plants and fungus in just any way that they see fit. (Humph!) After all, it's not like our Founding Fathers relied on anything more than grit and determination to make it in the world, blue funk or no blue funk.
FRANK: Say, Joe, didn't Benjamin Franklin use opium?
FRIDAY: Just the propaganda, Frank. Just the propaganda.
FRIDAY: I had pictured this aged flower child smoldering away in some dilapidated bungalow near the Los Angeles River Basin, annoying her low-class neighbors with the reek of her oversized bong decorated with Amazonian rain gods. To my surprise, however, I encountered the surprisingly recherche crone in the midst of high-class respectability, in her very own 6-bedroom mansion on Ivarene Avenue in the Hollywood Hills, tastefully appointed with mid-century décor and modern art, complete with private bath, solarium and even a billiard room.
"Hubba-hubba, " I says to Frank. "Crime seems to be paying here, huh, Frank? It's about time that we put a stop to that - the more so in that this place could easily net 6 million dollars for law enforcement when it's put up for auction after we throw old grandma into the hoosegow."
So thinking, I addressed the beldame as follows:
FRIDAY: You do realize, ma'am, that it's illegal to use plants and fungi as you see fit?
WOMAN: Oh, I'm sorry, I thought I lived in a free country.
FRIDAY: Not since the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914.
FRANK: Hey, she's got a mushroom, Joe, just to her right!
FRIDAY: Step away from the mushroom, ma'am!
FRIDAY: All right, you asked for it, Janis Joplin! Now I have to throw you on the ground and threaten you with immediate death if you so much as move an inch!
FRIDAY: Because... Because... Oh, how the hell do I know: it's just standard DEA procedure in these cases!
WOMAN: I was just trying to improve my mind!
FRIDAY: Yeah, ma'am, well, have you ever stopped to think what it would be like if EVERYBODY were to try to improve their mind like you?
WOMAN: Um... the world would be a better place?
FRIDAY: No! The world would be full of criminals!
FRANK: Well said, Joe.
FRIDAY: You know what, Frank?
FRANK: What's that, Joe?
FRIDAY: If everybody had her attitude, the world would be full of broken doors.
FRANK: How's that, Joe?
FRIDAY: Because the DEA would be obliged to perform a traditional SWAT raid on every single house in America, kicking in doors as we go.
FRANK: Hey, not a bad idea: sounds like there'd be a lot of valuable overtime in that arrangement.
FRIDAY: You took the bullets right out of my gun, Frank.
[Frank and Friday chuckle as "Janis Joplin" is violently hauled off to the already-overcrowded federal penitentiary system behind the credit roll]
On October 29, trial was held in the district court of Los Angeles County.
The old crone was found guilty of conspiring to obtain psilocybin mushrooms for the express purpose of improving her life. The Judge sentenced her to 25 years in the slammer, as a lesson to anyone who still thinks that Mother Nature's pharmacopoeia is actually open to the public. (Humph!)
The Drug War Comic Book
On Sale here January 2021