Democrats Crack Down on Meth Epidemic, Protect Oregon Business


Press release from Oregon House Majority Office 5-10-07:

Democrats Crack Down on Meth Epidemic, Protect Oregon Business
Bill to strengthen scrap metal sale regulations and penalties cuts off funds for meth use and production, reduces crime against Oregon businesses

SALEM–Democrats in the Oregon House Thursday voted to strengthen record keeping requirements and noncompliance penalties for scrap metal dealers in an effort to further crack down on Oregon’s meth epidemic.

“Last session, we worked to take the ingredients used to make meth out of the hands of those producing this devastating drug,” said State Representative Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay). “Now, the theft of metal, which addicts sell to finance their habits, has reached an unprecedented level. If we are serious about solving this problem, this bill is the next logical step to take.”

Democrats say the bill is needed because meth users have resorted to extreme measures to steal scrap metals and metal equipment””including road signs, irrigation pipes, copper wire from construction sites, stadium bleachers, utility meters, highway guardrails, farm machinery parts and more””costing Oregon businesses and taxpayers millions each year. “As a contractor I have been aware of the problem of metal theft like copper wire and brass fixtures from construction sites for years,” said State Representative Mike Schaufler (D-Happy Valley). “But the problem has reached a whole new level. This is another tool in the tool box in our fight against meth.”

House Bill 3026 calls for scrap metal recyclers to maintain a metal purchase record for every sale that includes a useful description of the metal load, a copy of a valid driver’s license of the person selling the scrap metal and a video surveillance record. Metal recyclers who knowingly accept stolen material will be required to pay stiff penalties.

“This bill is an example of the work we can do when a broad group of people get in a room and work to find a solution to a tough problem,” said State Representative Brian Clem. “It’s the kind of work we should to more of in the legislature.” The bill has the support of the construction industry, utilities, agriculture, law enforcement, metal recyclers and local governments.

“The meth epidemic is costing us all,” said State Representative Debby Boone (D Cannon Beach). “Today’s vote is a win/win/win””it’s good for business, good for taxpayers and tough on crime.”

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  • Jerry

    Maybe the Dems should look to the area of enforcement by increasing the number of state police on the roads. The reason Oregon is a haven for meth heads is that there are no police around – so people operate meth labs everywhere with impunity.

    To worry about scrap metal rather than officers on the beat is a typical Democrat senseless diversion.

    These people are obviously in way, way, way over their heads.

  • CRAWDUDE

    I agree with what you said Jerry; this bill doesn’t cost the tax payers anything so I don’t see a problem with it. Personally if I was a recycler I’d already be following all those requirements just from a business efficiency stand point.

    This law might curb some of the criminal activities the tweakers and illegals now commit to get their fix money. I read from one metal recycler that they go as low as to steal the brass plaques and urns off peoples head stone at the grave yards.

    I’m a little shocked the Liberals could come up with something so cost efficent and effective. I foresee some amendments from them that will make the law a burden to all instead of a good piece of legislation, we’ll see.

  • Rick Hickey

    Democrats have done minor bandages on something that needs surgery.
    Democrats allow Meth dealers to get a LICENSE or Photo ID, this discourages Police from further examing vehicle.
    Democrats will not pass a Bill to allow Police to inquire immigration status, even though most Meth is from Mexico.
    Democrats allow Illegals to get Jobs & State Services, encouraging more Meth transporters to come here. Yes Illegal Alien drug dealers have been caught who did work also.
    Democrats even allow Illegals to Vote, so they can further their agenda/culture.

    DEMOCRATS are more concerned with not offending Mexicans, Even Illegals, than protecting Americans.

    • Captain_Anon

      So do republicans, least we not forget our Commander In Chief

      • CRAWDUDE

        Good point Captn……………one of the many reasons I can’t stand GW!

        • Captain_Anon

          I just think using sweeping generalizations such as Demo’s do this, republicans do this… doesn’t really work anymore. People are so individualized. for instance, i’m pretty conservative, but i think more liberally on some issues. According to this board, i’m a left wing nut, but outside of this board, i’m right leaning or just plain in the middle. i support lots of republican ideas, and a few demo ideas.

  • Rick Hickey

    Democrats such as Darlene Hooley Vote to allow Mexican Gov’t to sell their ID card to Illegals. LEGAL immigrants have plenty of ID provided by American Gov’t.
    Democrats such as AZ. Gov. Napolitano just Vetoed a Bill to disallow Mexican Gov’t to sell thier ID card to Illegals.
    Democrats such as Ted Kulongoski have doen NOTHING to pass Illegal Immigration Bills in Oregon, creating the last Magnet in the U.S. !! (Texas won’t even allow Illegals to Rent a place to live, makes it real hard to stay there, so they will come here).

  • devietro

    Scrap metal theft is a big issue, but I am confident that once we close off the scrap metal sales. We will see meth addicts doing something else. The alternatives vary from Auto theft to home invasions or whatever, just about anything can be sold for drugs.

    The answer is more police on the roads and a more aware public.

  • baldeagle

    Rick, here’s another list:

    The Republicans don’t have a product to sell in 2008 because:
    There is corruption and scandals in the following cabinet departments; Defense, Education, Justice, Interior, Homeland Security, Veteran’s Affairs, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Services Department.

    In the State Department, the deputy secretary, a champion of abstinence-based international AIDS funding, resigned in a prostitution scandal.

    No fewer than four inspectors general, the official watchdogs charged with investigating impropriities in each department are themselves under investigation simutaneously.

    Republicans outsourced Iraqi/Afghanistan veterans’ care to a crony company at Walter Reed.

    President Bush installed a political hack, his 2000 campaign manager at the top of FEMA. He hired “heck of a job Brownie” and now look at the disasterous response to Katrina.

    Republicans stood passively by while the student-loan industry scandal exploded and at its center is Nelnet, the single largest corporate campaign contributor to the 2006 Republican campaigns.

    The Justice Department under Alberto Gonzales is under investigation for politicization and cover ups in the purging of 10% of all the US attorneys who by the way were all Republicans..just not the kind of Republican who would work on phony election fraud investigations.

    How about the Mark Foley scandal and the GOP cover up of the Page scandal.

    Republicans have been played for fools on family values. In 2008 Republicans will try and run on remaining in Iraq, denying a women’s right to choose, discriminating against people based on their sexuality, and putting up a wall on the Mexican border.

    My thanks to columnist Frank Rich for compiling just a few of the items in the list. There are more items to add but in the interest of…….

    The Oregon Democratic legislators have done a good thing by slapping down tougher regulations on metal buyers.

    The Republicans are the ones refusing to fund the State Police.

  • Anon

    Stay tuned:

    Now that the House Democrats have cracked down on metal theft (and meth-related activities), they will proceed to add at least 100 State Troopers to our highways later this month — reversing the 16 years of consistent cuts to Troopers when Republicans were in charge.

    A great one-two punch to meth.

  • Jerry

    I don’t care who is to blame, the 100 troopers are too few and too late. These fools in Salem should be ashamed of themselves.