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Meth Producers: The New Pedophiles

I’m on a bit of a Slate fix as of late, so here’s Jack Schafer’s latest grumbling about the so-called meth epidemic. It’s about “methamphetamine offender registries”, which are springing up like, well, meth offenders in trailer parks.

As of now, Oregon does not have a meth offender registry, but give it time. Thanks to all the breathless coverage of meth use in our fine state, I’d say it may be on the next legislative agenda (not that the current non-online registry is any less intrusive).

  1. Timothy says:

    Only a little? I must be coming down.

  2. Tina says:

    Wow, Timothy is a little defencive, I’m not sure if its for privacy or for the Illigal Production and Sell of Meth. I’d love to read his Public Record.
    Good thing we dont have to use full names. LOL

  3. Andy says:

    I don’t think that gated communities will be a solution to the meth problem or provide security for the majority of people when we live freely – it was just one example of how privitizing roads fights crime that is in existance today.

    What will happen is that insurance companies will have branch offices and you’ll pay a monthly premium for security services. Think health insurance.

    As for roads, they will most likely be paid for by business who will maintain them so their customers can get to them easily. Look at what they do with the roads on their property today – they are typically clean, well lit, and free. Just imagine if all the roads were owned by business. Unfortunately, people think privatization and anarchy pops into their head. But that’s clearly not the case in practice today. There are typically many more provisions for being a guest on private property because they can be enforced much more effectively.

    Do businesses allow people on their property who will scare off customers or who are theifs? I know they try a lot harder to do so than our current monopoly of violence. A business knows exactly how much to spend on security – but government doesn’t.

    How many police officers should there be in Eugene? What is the acceptable level of crime? 0%? 5%?
    These questions cannot be answered under the socialist system we have today.

  4. Timothy says:

    Only a 36%? I’d have guessed more. Hell, 85% think there’s an invisible man in the sky who will do them favors if they beg enough. And I could go on about how badly the question is structured, but it’s more fun to point at you and laugh. I shall commence doing so presently.

    CRITTNER: You don’t get to pick your own nicknames.

  5. Shaheen A. Al-Haddad says:

    Polls are out. More than 1 in 3 Americans believe that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them. Scripps Howard/Ohio University Poll. Look it up.

    Here’s a headline for your next issue:

    “Over 33% of Americans Insane, Wear Tin Foil Hats”

  6. Chris says:

    Andy: Gated communities, alright, that is a fair concept, but is it a feasible solution? I can’t see the cost of turning an entire city into nothing but gated communities as a cost-efficient solution for a meth problem, let alone cost-efficient for the privileges and benefits it may provide.

    As much as I am for a free-market, and as much as I am anti-big government, I feel there are a select number of things that we can benefit from via the government. Roads are one of the things on that short list. Say we do privatize all the neighborhoods in Eugene and turn them into gated communities, what do you propose we do with the roads beyond the communities that lead to the stores and places where we work? How do we solve the the meth problem that will stay beyond the realms of the gates which house us?

    Is there a way you can propose to privatize the roads that lead to Safeway and the bank? I am honestly curious to hear how that would work. Other than, I guess just toll booths set up along the path to charge you everytime you pass by. Which I don’t see as an effective solution, or too efficient either.

    Tim: I’ve always been around, I just never felt like posting. But Andy’s proposal intrigued me.

    Also, the nickname that tends to get tossed around now for me is Farva. Much more appropriate I feel then Crittner, as it just, well….fits. I mean lets face it, I have many similarities to the man. Which is why my fraternity brothers gave me the name.

  7. Andy says:

    “Epidemic: Defining an epidemic can be subjective, depending in part on what is “expected”. An epidemic may be restricted to one locale (an outbreak), more general (an “epidemic”) or even global (pandemic). Because it is based on what is “expected” or thought normal, a few cases of a very rare disease like rabies may be classified as an “epidemic”, while many cases of a common disease (like the common cold) would not.

    Common diseases that occur at a constant but relatively high rate in the population are said to be “endemic”. An example of an endemic disease is malaria in some parts of Africa (for example, Liberia) in which a large portion of the population is expected to get malaria at some point in their lifetimes.”

    Is the english language another uncounted casualty from the war on drugs?

  8. Melissa says:

    Is meth use a bad idea? Well, from all the evidence I

  9. Timothy says:

    CRITTNER! Back in black, baby, like the Bad-Boy Pacers of yesteryear!

  10. Andy says:

    The incidence of national crises has risen dramatically and with wonton disregard for the safety and well-being of the America people. Government needs to step in to stem the onslaught of red and bolded headlines, wide-eyed and shouting reporters, and especially bloggers.

    This country needs leadership that will stand up in this crisis to fight for America, the Constitution, and freedom accross this land.

  11. Andy says:

    Yea Chris, have you ever heard of a gated community? I.e. private roads and security in action?

  12. Timothy says:

    Melissa: My issue is that the dependency number given by NSDUH is for meth users dependent upon one or more drugs, which isn’t a specific break-out of people dependent on meth. I don’t think that’s all that informative.

    And DUII diversion is quite common. King County has a diversion court that offers treatment instead of prison. Oregon has at least DUII diversion program, and drug courts have been used since the 1970s. The National Center For Drug Courts maintains an active listing. The inclusion of those diverted into such programs in the treatment enrollment numbers pretty well buggers them, as far as I’m concerned. I haven’t seen a break-out of treatment enrollment by voluntary versus court-ordered, although I bet that’d be some really interesting data.

    Is meth use a bad idea? Well, from all the evidence I’ve seen…yeah, it probably is. Are meth addicts scary? Yup. But is there some sort of national crisis when only 600,000 people have used meth in the last month? Frankly, no. The US Population 15-64 is about 100,000,000, so 600,000 is 0.6% or, almost none. Are some areas worse than others? Well, see Springfield or Coos County or Methford. The point is that the ridiculous alarmism coming from some quarters about this is the same level of hysteria about internet predators or the “Summer of the Shark”. Or SARS, anybody remember SARS? Or “crack babies”? There’s always something the nannies need to be in a tizzy about, and I think the natural human tendency to expand a problem in one area into the sort of crisis about which SOMETHING MUST BE DONE gets even worse regarding what chemicals people consume to have a good time.

    Is it a problem in some places, probably, but the alarmism really pisses me off. I think there’s a national alarmism crisis, we need to get the government to do something.

  13. Chris says:

    Andy, did you seriously just use privatizing roads and parks as a solution to illegal drug use and a way to curb theft?!

    Parks, I might be able to give you, but roads? You’re going to have to explain to me how that might possibly be a good thing. Especially in the way of curbing drug use and theft.

  14. Andy says:

    It seems like the government has failed to protect the citizenry from this so-called epidemic. Maybe if roads and other “public” property were privately owned these addicts wouldn’t have the opportunity to waltz their way up to businesses and propety to commit burgulary.

    Also Heather, the concept of morality is impossible without liberty. How can someone in a cage exercise morality when they are not free to even make the choice of right? Is that what you advocate for? I feel the cell walls of the police state closing in everytime I hear or see so-called crime epidemic screeching.

    And what is the definition of an epidemic? It seems to me that it is a condition that you involuntarily contract, such as the flu or chicken pox. But there is nothing involuntary about drug use. Users make the choice to secure the drug and then consume it. Alcohal is a drug, yet because of it’s price users typically do not steal or attack other to aquire it. Is it possible that prohibition like early last century has exactly the same effects as prohibition today?

    Hrm…

  15. Melissa says:

    The NSDUH is good for broad stats, but not always a good indicator of specific data. NIDA is much more up-to-date and in-depth.

    Dependency is defined acording to the DSM-IV. It keeps everyone on one page, and is a consensus of what defines “dependency”. It isn’t merely one-time use. It is “withdrawal, tolerance, use in dangerous situations, trouble with the law, and interference in major obligations at work, school, or home during the past year.” This goes with the bio/psycho/social model of substance dependency and corresponding treatment methods.

    National prevalence of use may appear unchanged over a period of time, but that doesn’t examine changes by region, methods of use, age at first use, new users, etc. For example, there may be been a decrease in male users in Oregon over the last three years, but a comparable increase in female users. Users may decline in Illinois, but increase in Hawaii. People in the South may start using in their mate 20’s, while on the West Coast 9-year-olds are using for the first time. The total number of users remains stable, but the demographic of users has changed significantly.

    The same applies to methods of use. It isn’t enough to say an individual has “used meth” because there are separate health and social effects of smoking, (especially) injecting, or taking a pill. The epidemic changes regionally in so many ways, but is disguised as insignificant in the national picture.

    As for treatment programs, they are very rarely compulsory. Treatment is voluntarily, and not an alternative to legal obligations.

  16. Timothy says:

    According to The Government, usage has been flat the past few years for which there’s data. They report more people falling into the definition of “dependency”, but that’s for anyone who’d used meth and reports dependency on any drug. I don’t think that’s a very informative number.

    I’m also leery of the increased enrollment in treatment programs as an indicator of anything other than compulsory treatment being offered as a more appealing alternative than jail time.

  17. Melissa says:

    Tyler, I hardly think that working at Springfield Utilities Board makes you an authority on the subject

  18. Timothy says:

    I am fine with the media hyping the dangers of something that sucks the life and morality right outta folks.

    Right, of course. It’s okay to lie in service of “the children”. There’s no need to actually examine any usage statistics. Just keep trucking out the alarmism, sure, because of the children. No matter that police forces nation wide use the hype to shoot people in the night, it’s just a risk we’ll have to take…for the children.

  19. Heather says:

    Hi, I am back!

    Timothy, if this is your blog, it’s no wonder you don’t get any comments.

    I am fine with the media hyping the dangers of something that sucks the life and morality right outta folks. While having family, neighbors, students, friends and a community that has a problem with meth means I still know nothing about it, I am pretty confident that nothing still leaves a knowledge that I have never known a person (with familiarity with the drug) who wouldn’t say that meth kills a person’s soul.

    Data give me a break. You live in Eugene? Pot isn’t the same, even NPR knows that. Let’s wait until your daughter or son is giving it a try and stealing your stuff.

  20. Tyler says:

    Heather, I work at the utilities board in Springfield, Oregon — I don’t need to be shown the dangers of meth use. Having said that, I still believe that the “meth epidemic” is an artificial construct of the media and law enforcement. It’s the New Crack, and much like the New Coke, it’s overhyped.

  21. Timothy says:

    Yes, the “so-called” epidemic. Anecdotes from your neighborhood do not data make.

  22. Heather says:

    I don’t think they will have a meth offender registry, only because it would encompass way too many people.

    I guess having just written an entry about what meth is doing to the area around my house, I sense that you are a little doubtful of the “so-called” meth epidemic. If you are at U of O, than doesn’t that mean you live in Eugene?

    I invite you to stay in East Portland for a month. We can go on a little tour of closed down labs (the meth is now coming more from Mexico). People working on their car at 4 in the morning? People riding their bikes around collecting bottles at 3 am? People who sweat profusely on cold days? People checking your mailbox? People with faces that look like yoda? We got it all and more.

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