As the State Turns: Swabs for Innocence Edition

stateturnssymbolA Wolf in Drug’s Clothing?
Thanks to the men and women of the Oregon Legislature, we now how the “Right-to-Try” bill. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with pot… that’s legal now. This has to do with some other drugs—the potentially life-saving kind.

Imagine this: you’re bedridden because of some horrible illness and your doctor has basically told you, “Hey, bro, you’ve got less than a year to live. Did I say year? I meant six months. There’s a drug in the works that may help, but too bad so sad, it hasn’t been approved for sale so you can’t have any.” Now imagine members of the Oregonian government, standing tall, an armada of silhouettes in front of a golden sunset, capes flapping in the breeze of a tempered humidity. No more, they say. But what they mean is yes… more. More access to drugs that just might save your a*s, despite previous hurdles.

Granted, not everyone is happy.

Prominent group/blog Science-Based Medicine (SBM) says that this change in the law is more likely to harm patients than help them, suggesting that the checkpoints put in place to keep these drugs out of their hands is for their own good, as neither they nor even their doctors are likely to be able to actually make an informed decision. Strangely enough, SBM bases this on an intimate understanding of what exactly can go wrong with drugs that have not been fully vetted through the system. Next thing ya know, these bastards will be telling us that our naturopath can’t cure our constipation with arsenic!

I was considering elaborating on this, maybe clear up as to why the above concerns should be taken very seriously, but I’ve come to realize that no other media outlet in the state has bothered to. In Oregon, we’re team players, so onto that bandwagon I go. It seems that many people feel comfortable defaulting to the argument that some of the affected population have nothing left to lose, and there can’t possibly be any flaws in that, right?

HB 3206… Not Just a Robot’s Name Anymore
The aforementioned alphanumeric designation belongs to a very special bill which just passed both the state House and Senate unanimously. Wait, you want to know what it’s all about? Good lord, don’t any of you know how to pick up a newspaper and… oh. ::clears throat::

…Hello. Your regularly scheduled paragraph has been pushed back for this special bulletin. Do not, I repeat, do not under any circumstance read this area of the Corvallis Advocate for pure news purposes. Seriously. I know from the hate mail that some people don’t understand this column’s roots in satire, parody, sarcasm, and poop references… but if you ever find yourself coming here for the news, slap yourself. Hard. I now return you to your article.

HB 3206 essentially makes it easier for people who have been convicted of serious crimes to get down with some funky fresh DNA testing. It rewrites a 2001 law that has governed post-conviction DNA shenanigans, partially helmed by the Oregon Innocence Project. In the past, only two motions for testing were ever granted—one of them being rescinded after the fact, even. This should change all of that for a number of inmates.

What’s the difference between the old law and the new one? The old law, for example, required what this reporter feels comfortable referring to as “absolute horsesh*t levels of specificity.” An inmate couldn’t request, say, “the DNA from all swabs taken from the victim’s residence.” One would have to actually be able to name the evidence catalog ID of each swab, some of which could be “Slide 12-D, Daddy I’d like a pony for Christmas, La La La, Le Le Le, Lo, Lo, Lo.”

I’m not kidding.

Yes, the law was insane. Thankfully, the operative word here is “was.”

Everyone Bein’ All ‘Cited
Damian, Freaking, Lillard. On the Trail Blazers team for at least the next five years. For $120 million. Oh hell yeah, right? That’s super cool. You know what else is cool? The fact that $120 million could also buy…

• $30,000 worth of food, water, and shelter to every single homeless person in Portland.

• 3,000 promising Oregonian students a $40,000 jump-start on a college education that they wouldn’t have to spend the rest of their lives trying to pay back.

• everyone in Wyoming and Vermont a delicious burrito. And seriously, they deserve it… those states are miserable.

• $1 million of vital resources for 120 different non-profit or charitable organizations in the state.

• 50 people $40,000 a year for 50 years each (also known as the rest of their lives), with $20 million still left over to guarantee the presence of seed money for a Goonies III.

 • an ad campaign so massive that it might make people less accommodating towards insane amounts of money blown on sports stars (which would simultaneously create awareness surrounding the money wasted on advertising).

By Johnny Beaver