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Tricia Devereaux

Tricia Devereaux

Evil Angel given Federal obscenity prosecution

On April 8th, an indictment against John Stagliano, John Stagliano Inc and Evil Angel
Productions was filed in Federal District Court in the District of Columbia. The indictment includes 7 counts of obscenity and 1 count seeking forfeiture of certain assets from the
You can view the original story from Steve Javors at XBiz.com here.

It's been three weeks since we found out. Before something like this happens, you never know how you might feel. I thought I'd be either more angry or be doing a lot more crying. As it turns out, I am angry, but I'm feeding off of John's energy and strength, and he is so amazingly strong right now.

John's been a libertarian for over 30 years, and he was one of the first libertarians I had ever met. In fact, for one of our first few dates, he brought me to a cocktail reception and booksigning for author Virginia Postrel. I was fascinated by a lot of the other people I met there. They were some of the most truly open-minded individuals I had met. Not pretend open-minded, but truly. I meet a lot of people that say that they're open-minded, but when it comes down to it, if someone has a differing opinion, they won't acknowledge that the person has a right to disagree.

Over the 10 years that John and I have been together, I've really had to do a lot of searching within myself to try to figure out how I feel about some things. One example is my feelings about the drug war. I grew up in a fairly dysfunctional family. My older half-sister, who is 11 years older than me, had run away from home at the age of 15 and was what can only be described as a junkie by the time she was 18. She pretty much threw her life away. My other half-sister who was 14 years older than me was also doing drugs by the time she was 15 and
uncontrollably addicted by the time she was 18. She died when she was 19.  Seeing this as a child, I don't think I need to explain why I immediately adopted a strict no drugs policy in my own life. I wanted nothing more than to handle school and my life as straight as possible so that I could get into a good college far away from home and never have to look

I managed to not do drugs all the way until I started doing porn. A couple of the guys I dated smoked pot, and most of the people around me were partaking in at least something. So eventually, I decided to see what the big deal was. I tried smoking pot, but the first few times I tried, I'd just get really tired and end up passing out. I don't think I've ever felt the fun, relaxed high that I hear people talk about, and in a small way, that makes me feel a little sad. But, since I don't get the intended enjoyment out of it, I stopped trying pot. I have, however, also tried Exstasy, which I DID like. A lot, in fact. I finally had an idea of why people did recreational drugs. I used to tell myself that a person who needed drugs was a weak person. I've only done Exstasy a handful of times, partly because I'm kind of a naturally depressed chick, and I didn't want to fall into a pattern.

Over the years, I've met a lot of people that I like and respect who do one form of   non-prescription drug or another, but they are a productive, functioning part of society. So I started to change my view of if drugs should be banned. The place in my heart and brain that I came to was this: I now believe in thelegalization of drugs. I think that drugs should be treated like alcohol. If a person drives while intoxicated, they are punished for being reckless and doing something that would endanger others. However, if a person gets high in their
own home, what danger are they doing to anyone but themselves?

I've come to believe that I don't believe that something should be prosecuted if it is an action where no one is harmed. I don't believe that things like consensual sex (of legal age), watching porn, or doing drugs in your own home should be considered crimes at all. I'd be totally alright with the concept of people who commit crimes while under the influence of drugs were punished in the same way as if they commited that crime while drunk.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot come up with one situation where I believe that consensual sex or porn made by and with people of legal age, and watched (by choice) by people over 18 years old, could possibly have victims.  Who are the people being harmed?  Who is our government REALLY trying to protect when they prosecute porn companies and sex shops?

These are things I didn't give a lot of thought to 10 years ago when I started dating John. However, I believe I'm a stronger and more insightful person today. I thank John for that. I believe 100% in free speech. Not just the speech of people I agree with, but the opinions and speech of everyone around me. Sometimes it's extremely difficult to not be overly upset at someone who has a different opinion than me about something that I consider important. I'm not perfect, and sometimes I still find myself getting angry at people who appear close-minded. But I can't force them to change their mind just because I think they're wrong. This is a core concept that I remind myself of on a regular basis.

If people from morality groups or right-wing groups had this same belief, I think this country would be much less divided. I still want to live in a utopian world where people can say "I can accept that we don't have to agree on everything."
For more information about the case, please go to DefendOurPorn.org.  There's a guestbook there, and a link where you can write to your local congress represenatives. You can also find other articles about this obscenity case and other cases against porn.

- April 24, 2008
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