This November, Oklahoma residents will not only be voting for the next president, they will also be voting on several State Questions. These questions range from the death penalty to agriculture to education, but today, we’re going to talk about crime.
State Question 780 wants, “to reduce change certain non-violent drug- and theft-related crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, which come with a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a fine of $1,000, thereby reducing the number and duration of state prison sentences for those crimes” (Ballotpedia.org). State Question 781 is connected to SQ 780, so SQ 781 relies on SQ 780.
Presently, “possession of illegal drugs is a felony according to state law” (Ballotpedia.org). SQ 780 is aiming to make this a misdemeanor. ALSO, “currently, a theft or forgery of property worth over $500 dollars is considered a felony offense by state law” (Ballotpedia.org). SQ 780 wants to raise the threshold to $1,000, allowing criminals to steal more merchandise, or family heirlooms, with less of a penalty.
SQ 781 wants to use the funds made available by the passing of SQ 780, to run “rehabilitative organizations that provide drug and mental health treatment, job training, and education programs” (Ballotpedia.org). This may sound like a good idea; however, not when it is connected to such a ludicrous bill as SQ 780.
The arguments for the SQ 780 and 781 include: the bills would “reduce crime and improve safety,” “allow people convicted of non-violent drug crimes to rehabilitate and reintegrate into society,” and “allow positive treatment of addiction and mental health issues at the root of most crimes” (Ballotpedia.org). I really don’t see how these State Questions would reduce crime, when you are giving criminals a free pass to grab more goodies for a lesser consequence.
On the other hand, the arguments against the bills make a lot more sense: the bills would “increase crime,” they are “unnecessary,” and it “would be unjust by making some drug crimes that should be felonies into misdemeanors” (Ballotpedia.org).
Letting people off with a misdemeanor, because jails are overcrowded, is a terrible excuse. We would just be sending a message to criminals that since we have no room for them, they can run wild.
I have the solution of the century, something no one has considered, something simple and easy to adhere to: DON’T COMMIT CRIMES.
So, vote NO on State Questions 780 and 781, so the criminal who steals your belongings will be stuck with a felony, not a limp-wrested, safe-place misdemeanor.
To read more on State Questions 780 and 781, click here