Considering the subject matter of my last blog I feel like I have to comment on recent revelations regarding James Mosqueda’s personal history. Seems he has a bit of a criminal record. A dismissed weapon’s charge, a couple of charges of drug possession and 1 parole violation not to mention a second degree burglary charge. None of this prevented him from legally obtaining the license that authorized him to haul hazardous materials. According to Assemblyman Pedro Navo, “It’s reprehensible that the Patriot Act is so riddled with these kinds of problems that a drug-using, gun-toting, hit-and-run burglar is licensed to drive hazardous materials in the state of California.”
While the statement is funny, I don’t agree. The weapons charge, as far as I’m concerned, shouldn’t have even made the papers. For one thing it was dismissed. For another it happened in 1979. No one should be judged by charges that wouldn’t even hold up when they were originally brought up 27 years ago. The drug, burglary and parole violations that occurred between 1992 and 1998 are a different story and I did giggle when I read that after the burglary he apologized for his actions in a letter to the judge explaining that he had been battling depression and had been using drugs to self-medicate. That argument may have held up with some if the drug he was medicating with was marijuana…maybe. But Mosqueda was self-medicating with heroin. Of course Kurt Cobain once claimed to that he used heroin to self-medicate, although he said he was using it to treat a stomach condition which is a good thing because if he was using it to treat depression it was a pretty spectacular failure.
But Mosqueda’s been in rehab. There is no evidence that he was using any substances while he was driving that truck or that he has so much as looked at a needle after he “went straight.” If anything this makes this story all the more tragic and makes Mosqueda more sympathetic. He got his life together, overcame an incredibly intense physical and emotional addiction, got involved with his church’s youth outreach program and worked things out with his family and now…
In no way am I a criminal rights activist but I really do feel for this guy. If you skim the headlines that brazenly tote Mosqueda’s spotty record please keep all the facts in mind. If you are angry with him be angry because he was speeding for that did show a grievous lack of judgment. But to fault him for past mistakes he’s worked so hard to make-up for is not only unfair, it’s cruel.
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