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Dem candidate for AG vows to fight the “meth crisis”

Over at Loaded Orygun, Democratic candidate for Attorney General John Kroger has written a blog post outlining his plan to fight the scary meth pandemic. As you’ve probably heard from every news outlet in the state, meth has ravaged at least 95 percent of Oregon’s adult population (and now it’s coming for your kids!). Here’s the opening paragraph of his two-pronged assault on tweak:

As Attorney General, I will work hard every day to tackle Oregon’s number one crime problem – meth addiction. Every year, meth costs us hundreds of millions of dollars in prison and law enforcement costs, health care expenditures, and lost workforce productivity. Meth is the biggest cause of property crime and identity theft in the state. More important, meth is the single greatest cause of serious child abuse in Oregon. That is one reason Oregon recently received a grade of “D” on a child welfare report card issued by a leading child advocacy group. To me, that is simply unacceptable.

To deal with Oregon’s meth crisis, I have proposed a two part plan, emphasizing both a new drug treatment program and tougher enforcement. This plan is based on the lessons I have learned as a federal prosecutor, public policy expert, and law professor.

A lot of things about this catch my eye, such as confusing “meth addiction” with “crimes people commit while on meth” (although you could easily argue the two go hand in hand). Most odd, though, is when Kroger throws out “lost workplace productivity.” Meth results in less productivity? Last time I checked, carnivals wouldn’t exist without meth. Workplace productivity statistics are stupid anyways, but Kroger says his plan is based on experience, so it must have some merit, right? Well, lets see.

The first part of Kroger’s plan is to expand drug treatment and prevention programs. Now, I know you may balk at having to foot the bill for Johnny Lesion-face’s 12-step program, but Kroger claims it will actually save the taxpayer money. “For every dollar we invest in treatment, we will save nearly six dollars by bringing down the crime and incarceration rates,” he says. Of course, it would also bring down crime and incarceration rates if we stopped charging people for drug use, but that would actually make sense.

Kroger also promises to fight the “big drug cartels” that are pumping meth into the state. But how did those cartels get here in the first place? Funny story, actually …

As Attorney General, I will also take on the big drug cartels that are shipping meth into our state. Back in 2005, under Governor Kulongoski’s leadership, Oregon put pseudoephedrine cold medicines behind the counters at our state’s pharmacies. This was a good law, because it dramatically cut the number of small meth labs operating in the state. Unfortunately, we did nothing to address the intense demand for the drug. As a result, sophisticated drug cartels have stepped in to fill the gap.

Aw, but who could have seen that coming? Sometimes I feel like there is almost a mysterious connection between how people demand an item and its resulting supply. If only there were some sort of theory to properly explain it!

This is Kroger’s plan to be “both smart and tough on crime.” In essence, he just wants to throw more money at the problem and hope it goes away. Unfortunately, you can’t cure stupid. If someone gets into meth in the first place, they probably don’t understand or care about deterrents like jail time and having huge, open sores on their face, nor will a D.A.R.E. class in sixth grade change their mind. However, Kroger’s plan is not made completely of suck and fail.

I believe in mandatory minimum sentences for violent crimes like rape and murder. I am, however, strongly opposed to extending mandatory minimums to drug possession or first time property offenses. I oppose this because I know, as a former federal prosecutor, that extending mandatory minimums to these offenses is poor law enforcement policy. It will cost us hundreds of millions of dollars and it will not make us safer.

Well, at least he’s right about something.

  1. Ossie says:

    First of all, CJ, you are an old polecat. Secondly, I am as tired as the next person of politicians putting out propaganda that he or she knows how to

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