A huge, huge thank you to the FBI and the many other agencies who assisted in the capture and conviction of this dangerous dealer. Why does this matter? In the county where I live, San Luis Obispo, my city council led the way in welcoming cannabis dispensaries to town, awarding dispensary permits in 2018 only to owners with principles and spouses with felony convictions. According to the California Department of Public Health – Substance and Addiction Prevention Branch statistics, in 2020 and 2021, each year deaths per capita countywide from fentanyl and illegal drugs were more than double the state level and more than doubled again in the past year.

Who is it who is dying? Our children, because we didn’t pay close enough attention to the actions of local government agencies countywide in their rush to bring cannabis revenue to town. We didn’t pay attention to the character of those we elected. We thought it was OK if their characters slipped a little here and a little there. We thought it couldn’t happen in our beautiful little county. If there ever has been a reason to vote for men and women of impeccable ethics, this is it. Our children. If there ever has been a reason to pay attention to the actions of our elected representatives, this is it: those who come after us.

There’s another important takeaway from this article. It’s the answer to a question I hear every week from those who are paying attention, who have taken the risks, reported the crime, stood up for good governance, “When are they ever going to charge these guys?” I hope and pray I am right when I tell them what I have learned as I have researched how everyday people restore honest government. In every case it takes the concerted effort of a whole community that decides it will no longer stand for corruption and demands best practices and high standards from their elected representatives and is willing to work as a village to reclaim its city. Corruption knows no party, no gender, no ethnicity. It is simply #corruption. Virtue is the same. And so, when we demand virtue, we must give up our biases and work together with people we might never otherwise have joined with for a mutual goal. It takes courage, and it also takes the press and media to back them up, and state and federal law enforcement and elected officials. Finally, it takes people willing to speak to them about the corruption, and it takes many years. A corrupt political machine ruled Kansas City, Missouri for fifty years. It took the concerted effort of all the above resources for ten years to finally take it down and bring in good governance.

So, as in the article linked here, where the kingpin first sold meth to a confidential informant working for an #FBI task force in 2012-2013, and in Kansas City, where it was a ten-year effort, I answer the question by saying that the web is deeper and wider than we can possibly imagine and it can take 10 years or more for law enforcement operatives to build a case to untangle and successfully prosecute it. I pray that I am right and that the highest power protects you and them in their efforts. God bless you all.

#SanLuisObispo #localgovernment #citycouncil