Thursday, January 03, 2008

Methamphetamine Meltdown

Tucson, Arizona. A far less flattering photograph of Kumari Semone Fulbright, 25, graces the local press these days after she and a couple friends kidnapped and tortured a former boyfriend. I'll spare the reader the details save to comment that they kept the poor man bound for over ten hours. Ten hours is a long time to go without the having the realization of "Wait. WTF are we doing?!"

The two photos provide about as compelling a "Before Meth" and "After Meth" set of images that I've seen. The methamphetamine epidemic is not new, but resources for addressing it have been slow in coming. Unnecessary Epidemic was published in 2004. Meth got its start out west and has been migrating eastward for the last twenty years. Eggplant regards marijuana as a higher priority in the war on drugs.

I moved to the middle of Tucson from the NW side in 2004. Within months, some meth heads (so the police informed me) broke into my house and stole my electronics. They cruise the neighborhoods looking for an easy victim. Anyone living alone with a routine (i.e. a job) and nice equipment that doesn't have security can count on being hit. If you pay attention, you can see them, kids aged 17 - 28 or so with one foot in their graves. The police even know their names, but they have to catch them in the act.

Breaking into my place now requires a blow torch, and video from multiple cameras records to a server in Phoenix. They have not come back yet.

I don't know her background, but the resources to enter and win beauty pageants and reach second year law school suggest someone who has really blown it, literally. Human beings have an extraordinary capacity to be intelligent and completely stupid at the same time.


Blogger Dustin said...

with highly addictive drugs out and about, it only takes one mistake. That is why they are pushed, it's just theft from a different vector. These substances are truly insidious. Once addiction sets in, any ability to think critically or rationally are thrown right out the window.

The first thing I thought when I saw that picture was "damn, she's a meth addict." Who knows how it started, maybe she wanted to get more work done, and thought the drug could help, maybe she knew someone, or maybe she was just looking for something to make her feel better about herself.

I've had family touched by this stuff, and it's like a disease. I hate it, I hate the people who sell it, I hate the people who make it, just thinking about it takes me to a really dark place. It's murder, by tiny pieces, a death that seeks to destroy all it contacts, and ruin as many lives as it can on the way down.

1/03/2008 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I hear you. A friend of mine had a son get into it. The son started stealing from the entire family including extended family.

It took about a year, and then the police contacted them to identify a body. The sight was so horrible they had a closed casket funereal.

That Bush would consider marijuana a higher priority seems consistent.

1/03/2008 4:44 PM  
Blogger roger said...

This is really terribly sad. Getting mixed up with the wrong people, here older 40 year drug dealers, proved to be a problem. Getting mixed up with Meth proved to be so very devastating. She is a young woman, had a brilliant future laid out, and in this case did something truly horrible...even if the guy turns out to be a scumbag. Also, a gun was mandatory minimums will not be kind at all. Her only chance is to rat the others out for a lower sentence and to expose a drug cartel, then maybe she can get some drug treatment and re-make her life.

On the other hand, our CJ system tends to make her charges more than serious. The type that will make sure she is never a lawyer, that she spends years in federal prison, and that she never recovers from this period of her life.

1/04/2008 9:57 AM  
Blogger Dustin said...

sorry, but the likelihood of her recovering are pretty slim. Not impossible for sure, but pretty slim in any case. I'd say she is already lost. Even if she weren't locked up for years.

1/04/2008 11:39 AM  
Blogger roger said...

Do you mean lost to addiction or lost period?

I tend to believe that drug treatment can work and with help that a person can change their life around. She may not ever be an attorney, but there are so many ways a person can do good for others and work if given a chance.

My fear is that the justice system we have doesn't offer many chances at all.

Drug courts and other specialty courts have been one step in the right direction.

1/04/2008 2:00 PM  
Blogger Dustin said...

I mean lost, in both senses of the word. I'm not saying treatment is impossible, but I would bet dollars to donuts that anyone who has gone so far down the rabbit hole that they are abducting people is likely not going to make it back. Maybe I'm just a pessimist, especially when meth is involved.

it's hard to know where rehab and jail are appropriate. Obviously we can't jail all addicts, and certainly not all addicts will recover. The problem is where to draw the line.

1/04/2008 4:22 PM  
Blogger Framer said...


Unfortunately you are correct. I spend all day working with Defense attorneys. I have asked them all if anyone that they have worked with has ever come back from Meth. All of them have told me that none of their clients have come back, ever.

It's a pretty large sample size.

Its tragic.

1/06/2008 5:21 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home