Well Oregon, we did it again. It is now only a class E violation ($100 fine) to possess methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. The logic is that the junkies, crackheads and tweakers need treatment, not incarceration. Well heck, why don't we incarcerate them and give them treatment while they are in jail? At least we'd be sure they attend counseling sessions and get cleaned up while locked up.
While we're all worried about the deleterious effects incarceration may have on these poor souls, no one has considered, it seems, the effects these people's addictions have on our communities. I've lived in Newport for 12 years. In that time, my home has been burgled three times; my cars twice. These break-ins are not being done by the big time drug dealers but by small-time, "gotta score a bump" tweakers and junkies. If you've never had your home broken into, I can't tell you how violated and helpless you feel. Then follows anger and sadness over lost family heirlooms and lost items that were acquired through hard work and sacrifice. These people are criminals, supporting their addictions through continuous criminal activity, and we believe treatment will fix the problem.
This new law just means even more money will be dumped down the rat hole to treat people who don't want to be treated. And yes, I now have a dog that can eat a refrigerator taking care of my home while my family and I are away.