Author Topic: On Selective Enforcement  (Read 1932 times)

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Offline turbulentflow

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On Selective Enforcement
« on: November 16, 2019, 08:46:13 PM »
Hey all,

I know this may be a little irregular, but I figured that you all probably know quite a bit more about safe lab/drug use practices than I do, so i thought I'd do something a little different for my harm reduction write up. So, let me tell y'all about selective enforcement.

Waaaaaaaay back in the day, when your good pal turbulentflow was but a wee baby wasp, they went to a preschool. This preschool, like most, had a number of rules in place that the children were expected to follow. All the usual stuff you'd expect: don't fight, don't steal, don't leave the school without your parents. But, you see, there was this one rule in particular that really pissed off baby turbulentflow. None of the children were allowed to play with sticks longer than their arms.

Now, turbulentflow was generally a good baby wasp and tried not to break the rules too much (they really didn't like getting in trouble). But turbulentflow saw that all the other children were playing with sticks bigger than their arms, and that none of them were getting in trouble. So, turbulentflow went and found a thin little birch switch just a little longer than their arm and picked it up. Sure enough, nothing happened. Turbulentflow even walked right past a teacher waving their stick around and they didn't do anything.

Awash in the glow of this newfound freedom, turbulentflow put down their tiny little switch and went straight for the biggest, gnarliest, thickest hulk of wood they could carry in their young arms and hucked it straight at the face of the mean girl who took turbulentflow's lunch money every day. The teacher came over right away, took away turbulentflow's stick, and turbulentflow got slapped with 25 to life in kiddie prison.

But something else happened, something very interesting. Not only did turbulentflow get their stick taken away, but all the other kiddies who were playing innocently waving their sticks around and hurting nobody had their sticks taken away too. You see, even though the teachers didn't really care that those kids had sticks longer than their arms, they'd just used the rule to stop turbulentflow from hurting another kid, so they had to start enforcing the rule (or else turbulentflow might have complained that the rule was enforced unfairly!).

I think that's something that everyone involved with drugs (but especially chemists!) absolutely has to keep in mind. Now, is Leo going to look the other way for your meth lab the same way turbulentflow's teacher looked the other way for the kids playing with sticks? Probably not. But people often operate under the assumption that all laws are enforced and investigated equally, when this is anything but true.

Sure, once you have the cops busting down your door, saying "but I followed proper safety procedures your honor" isn't gonna help much. But, acting in a responsible and safe manner can go quite a ways towards preventing that from happening. Not only will following proper laboratory procedure prevent the type of catastrophic accidents that would get Leo to your lab in a jiffy ("It was a gas explosion officer, I swear! Never mind all that glassware and precursor chemicals!"), but it will help in smaller ways too, ways you won't see or notice.

People are much more observant and intelligent than we often give them credit for. Obviously you should do everything in your power to ensure nobody has any idea what you're doing, but on the off chance somebody notices a smell or recognizes a chemical, they're much less likely to do anything about it if they can see your operation is being run safely. Someone dumping untreated chemicals in the river? Probably going to get reported if anybody notices. Somebody safely disposing of neutralized chemicals embedded in concrete? Now that's something the average Joe might just be willing to look the other way on.

And it goes beyond the risk to you personally, too. Every meth lab explosion, every clandestine chemist caught poisoning a town's water supply, every user who dies from an impure product only serves to cement in the public consciousness the connection between clandestine chemistry and irresponsible behavior. So, when your shit safety protocols inevitably get you caught, it won't just be you who suffers, every single clandestine chemist will suffer from the increased public pressure to crack down on us (not to mention the people you'll hurt or kill with your reckless behavior).

So, in conclusion, don't be an ass. Follow proper safety procedure (and if you don't know what that is, figure that shit out BEFORE starting a fucking meth lab). Not only is it just the right thing to do, but it will help keep you and all other clandestine chemists out of trouble.