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Dueling Crime Initiatives to Hit November Ballot

An initiative sponsored by Republican Kevin Mannix that would set three-year mandatory minimum prison sentences for first-time drug dealers, burglars and identity thieves will appear on the November ballot in Oregon.

According to the Oregonian, the measure “would increase Oregon’s prison population by an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 inmates and cost $128 million to $200 million a year.” Righto, sounds peachy keen! Sure, we already have a strained budget and strained prison system, but dammit, someone’s got to teach those dopers a lesson.

Of course, if voters disagree with the initiative, they will have another, more sympathetic way to waste vast amounts of money. A second initiative sponsored by the Democrat-controlled legislature, which targets repeat offenders, would only incarcerate a projected 1,600 people and cost roughly $50 million a year. It would also include $20 million a year for drug treatment programs and local jails.

If both initiatives are passed by voters, the one with the most votes will become law. (THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE!)

  1. Sean says:

    They want to do this…with the knowledge that AS IS, non-felony crimes are not even prosecuted by the Lane County DA because of the severe understaffing issues of our criminal justice system. Lane County enjoys, on average, 1.6 officers per 1000 people, which is far below the average of the United States, 3 per 1000.
    But damn, those drug dealers…

  2. Vincent says:

    “Drugs are bad, m’kay? You shouldn’t do drugs…”

  3. Timothy says:

    Mannix is an assclown, and apparently a totalitarian prick. Here’s hoping Oregonians have the good sense to vote this measure down.

    But let’s think about this for a second. 4000 people at $128 Million is $32,000 per person per year. If that’s what it costs to put a guy in jail for selling weed, wouldn’t it make more sense just to give the guy a job picking up trash on the street for $32,000 a year? I mean, sure, he’d be the world’s best paid janitor, but honestly, at least that wouldn’t mark the guy as a felon (making him largely unemployable) for life. The drug war is the single greatest threat to liberty in the US these days, and I can’t imagine why anyone with even two neurons to rub together would support it.

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