Oklahoma’s Meth Registry: creating a permanent underclass in the Sooner State? | Street Jazz

Friday, September 26, 2014

Oklahoma’s Meth Registry: creating a permanent underclass in the Sooner State?

Posted By on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 11:01 AM

The Men With Bad Haircuts in the Oklahoma legislature, taking a break from their almost constant effort to protect the Second Amendment from all enemies foreign and domestic, may soon create a public online registry of those who have been convicted of making meth.

State Representative Sean Roberts asked an official of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Control why folks convicted of such offenses weren’t on a public online list, so neighbors could find out about them.

Roberts, who had previously voted to expand the information collected from those seeking abortions, wants a registry similar to the online sex offender registry.

Now, for those who live in a stark black-and-white world, and are all too ready to accuse me of some sort of intellectual or moral dishonesty here, I will gladly admit that I have written several times in the past - long before anyone on the state level picked up on the idea, in fact - of the need for a domestic abusers registry. But there is a difference between registries for sex offenders, domestic abusers and those convicted of drug offenses.

History has shown that both sex offenders and domestic offenders, far from “getting better,” escalate their crimes. The same is not true for those convicted of drug crimes, despite the paranoid blather from conservatives.

Many do, but just as many don’t. But a registry, for those who have paid their debt to society? Then again, this is Oklahoma, where you can pick up a sex offender label if you just get caught peeing behind a tree.

Now, I think that, due to the corrosive nature of cooking meth, that folks have a right to know if the house, apartment or trailer they are thinking of moving into was ever used as a meth lab. But registry of those convicted of manufacturing meth?

Roberts, who voted “Nay” when it came to supporting a bill authorizing school districts to issue bonds to improve school safety (I guess nobody mentioned gins anywhere in the bill), said that while it might not actually take action by the legislature to create such a registry, he intends to bring forth such a bill in the next session, if he feels it necessary.

Oklahoma does, by the way, already have a registry which authorized folks can utilize - but the friends (and we’ll use the word “friend” loosely here) and neighbors of former meth addicts?

I am not a Facebook intellectual, who can debate issues without knowing a whole hell of a lot about real life. Many of my friends over the years have run into trouble with the law, and have served time - serious time - for drug offenses.

While some screwed up, and went back inside, the vast majority of them got their shit together, and were no longer tempted by whatever demons placed them in jeopardy in the first place.

And I’m not talking about pot.

But a meth registry for all too see? Really, Representative Roberts, such a registry would deny the basic humanity in all of us. Or perhaps Representative Roberts, if my words wouldn’t men much to him - cuz the chances are about one in a zllion that he’ll ever read this anyway - perhaps the words of a recent president might move him:

“America is the land of the second chance - and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.” - George W. Bush

A public meth registry just leads to second-class citizenship.

******

Is this just a PR gimmick at best?

While meth arrests are up in Oklahoma, the number of meth labs is actually going down, since much of the new batch of the drug is arriving via Mexican drug cartels.

*****

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