May 12, 2005
It's no secret that Oregon has a bit of a funding problem. Public programs involving education, insurance and so on are losing steam as lawmakers in Salem and voters around the state continually show an extreme dislike for taxes.
The most recent example of these harms was reported Wednesday, by the Register-Guard. According to the Register-Guard, Lane County district attorneys will not prosecute more than 100 nonviolent misdemeanors such as car break-ins and credit card fraud. Instead, public lawyers will focus on crimes such as domestic violence, high scale robberies and drug dealing.
Unfortunately, this is just another example of how the U.S. government's drug war forces individual communities to ignore crimes that should take higher legal priorities. Instead of making sure people who break into cars are taken off the street and punished, prosecutors will use state funds to make sure the local stoner isn't assisting his neighbors in eating lots of food and forgetting stuff.