Pubdate: Wed, 28 Jan 2004
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2004 The Seattle Times Company
Author: Jennifer Sullivan, Times Snohomish County bureau
Bookmark: (McCaffrey, Barry)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Bookmark: (Youth)


EVERETT -- Former national drug czar and retired general Barry
McCaffrey will headline this year's Snohomish County Youth Meth Summit
on Feb. 5 at the Everett Events Center.

McCaffrey, who stepped down as the director of the White House Office
of National Drug Control Policy in January 2001, said he will share
his anti-drug message with students during the six-hour summit.

"Methamphetamine is the worst thing that has happened to America,
period, on the drug issue," he said yesterday. "It's a building crescendo.

"We've been working on (eradicating meth use) for a good long while
now, but the problem is the drug is cheap, it's easy to make, it
requires precursor chemicals readily available on the commercial market."

Youth Meth Summit

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Everett Events
Center, 2000 Hewitt Ave. Admission is free, and a pizza lunch will be
provided. Go to ( for
more information.

McCaffrey, who was the most highly decorated and youngest Army
four-star general when he retired, commanded the Army's 24th Infantry
Division Combat Team during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Since stepping down as drug czar, McCaffrey has worked as a professor
at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., has become president
of his own consulting firm and has appeared on NBC News as a
national-security and terrorism analyst. According to the Washington
Speakers Bureau, McCaffrey can earn up to $15,000 for a speaking engagement.

Snohomish County Sheriff Rick Bart, one of the summit organizers, said
McCaffrey is not charging a speaking fee for his appearance at the
Meth Summit.

Travis Talbot, a member of the local anti-drug group Lead on America
and a summit organizer, said McCaffrey is the biggest name they have
recruited since the event was started in 2002. Talbot said he doubts
students will be fully prepared for the amount of information
McCaffrey will present.

Talbot expects more than 1,200 students to attend.

Because the event is on a school day many districts are hand-picking
students from classes with the hope that they can present what they
learned to their classmates after the summit.

"Having students take part in this discussion is important," said
Debbie Jakala, a spokeswoman for the Edmonds School District. "They
will have an opportunity to hear about this issue and the impact it
has on lives."

Jakala wasn't sure how many students were being sent to the summit
from her district.

Chris Van Horn, an Everett mother who has helped plan all three
summits, said she got involved with the events along with her
daughter, Jessica.

"I love to work with the kids," said Van Horn, whose daughter is a
sophomore at Cascade High School. "I think they learn from the summit.
We're not trying to get them off drugs, we're hoping to make sure they
don't try drugs."

The students attending the summit will also hear from members of the
Snohomish County Regional Drug Task Force who will talk about shutting
down meth labs.

Employees from Ausclean Technologies, a Kirkland-based company that
specializes in the cleanup of such labs, will discuss how they clean
homes and vehicles contaminated with the toxic chemical residue left
behind by meth production, Talbot said.

"The Youth Meth Summit is a good vehicle to get the information out to
the youth," said Drug Task Force Cmdr. Pat Slack, who runs the
multijurisdiction task force which focuses on arresting drug dealers,
users and manufacturers.

"They're getting it firsthand and not from their friends down the
block. If we're going to make a change, it's through the youth."

Slack said the task force investigated more than 50 methamphetamine
labs in 2002 and 2003.
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake