Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Booze causes death; meth causes theft

Meth, meth, meth: still, it’s booze than kills!

The “Meth Epidemic” gets central Oregon’s attention, but the nitty-gritty is that the legal drug alcohol kills more people than any of the illicit drugs the taxpayers spend millions of dollars fighting.

Meth, like heroin, is tied to property crimes; alcohol to crimes against persons. Property, it’s been noted, is more important and valuable than people. Drunks kill themselves or family members, while dopers steal things so they can get cash to buy drugs. It’s crazy.

There was a mention in the current Harpers’ magazine that the US spent over 750 million dollars fighting last year’s production of opium poppies in Afghanistan. The entire crop could have been bought for millions less. It costs more money to fight drugs than alcohol abuse, so more people make money off of fighting drugs—and besides, the distillers make big-time campaign contributions to our politicians.

Here in Bend, alcohol is the big killer.

Charge planned in player drowning
9/28/2005, 1:06 a.m. PT
The Associated Press

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A prosecutor plans to file charges against the person who provided alcohol to an amateur baseball player who drowned in the Deschutes River this summer.

Michael Wilhite, 20, of Franklin, Ky., had a blood alcohol level of .20 when he drowned, according to a toxicology report. The legal limit for driving under the influence of intoxicants is .08 in Oregon.

Deschutes County District Attorney Mike Dugan said Tuesday that his office will file charges of furnishing alcohol to a minor against an unidentified 21-year-old.

Dugan, however, said his office will not file charges for Wilhite's death.

Gordon Welborn, a Redmond attorney, said Tuesday that Scott Reese, a starting pitcher for the Bend Elks and Wilhite's former teammate, has retained Welborn regarding the matter.

Wilhite played second base for the Elks, a member of the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League. He was floating the river with friends and teammates on July 28. Witnesses said he fell in the water while attempting to get off an air mattress.

Search and rescue crews recovered the body more than two hours later.

Wilhite would have turned 21 the day after the accident.

Welborn said the incident involved six or seven baseball players who were 20 and 21 years old. He said Reese will cooperate with authorities, if charged.

Reese, 21, is a junior at Creighton University in Nebraska.

Jim Richards, owner and general manager of the Bend Elks, said Tuesday that Reese, a graduate of Jesuit High School in Portland, would be welcomed back next summer.

"If laws are broken, people have to be held accountable, and I understand that," Richards said. "But recognizing that this was a tragic accident, we would welcome Scott back with open arms to come back and pitch for the Bend Elks."


Information from: The Bulletin,

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