Pubdate: Mon, 11 Apr 2005
Source: Tucson Citizen (AZ)
Copyright: 2005 Tucson Citizen
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Bookmark: (Opinion)


President Bush wants to slash funds for the worst drug epidemic of our
time, a proposal that is "absolutely asinine." Methamphetamine has
proved to be the worst of the worst in illegal drug activity:

- - Addiction to meth is almost instantaneous and is more difficult to
shake than the death grip of a pit bull.

- - Meth can easily be cooked at home, using readily available
household items.

- - The drug, also known as crystal or ice, is highly toxic - to
children who often are found in homes where it is manufactured, to our
environment, to water supplies and to surrounding neighborhoods.

- - Meth is also highly flammable, placing firefighters, other
emergency responders, unwitting neighbors and entire communities at
great risk.

- - Finally, meth is cheap and easy to buy, and it is scouring our
nation, as home-based meth labs pop up in horrifyingly high numbers.

Forget the Hollywood and New York aura that once surrounded cocaine.
Meth is made, sold and used even in bucolic areas of America's
heartland. Missouri led the nation last year for meth lab seizures,
with 2,707. No wonder Lt. Steve Dalton, head of an anti-meth task
force in southwest Missouri, finds the administration's proposed
funding cuts to be "absolutely asinine."

"It is the worst drug problem I've seen, and it continues to grow,"
Dalton says.

Iowa was second-highest for meth lab raids, with 1,300; Tennessee
ranked third, with 1,259.

In Arizona last year, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents
seized 532 kilograms of meth, an amount second only to California.

"Methamphetamine is the No. 1 contributor to crime in Arizona," says
Attorney General Terry Goddard, whose office oversaw 155 meth raids -
and rescued 40 children - in only the first nine months of 2004.

But while slashing funds for the battle against methamphetamine, Bush
actually would increase the drug war budget by 12.2 percent for fiscal
2006, to $12.4 billion.

The extra money would go to intercept drugs before they enter the
country and other international programs, such as crop

We're sorry, Mr. President, but we've got a bumper crop of
methamphetamine right here in the United States.

Meth is spurring an enormous threat to our public safety and a huge
increase in criminal activity from shore to shore.

If the federal government is so intent on waging a War on Drugs, it
should wage that war here at home, where it's causing the most trouble.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin