Pubdate: Fri, 29 Dec 2006
Source: Kootenay Western Star (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Kootenay Western Star
Author: Elliot Robins


In an Increasingly Sped-Up Culture, It Is No Surprise That Stimulants 
Are Becoming More Popular.

Crystal methamphetamine is a crystallized form of the stimulant 
referred to as 'speed.' Although crystal meth has become a problem 
throughout North America it is not yet a problem in Nelson says Don Maluta.

"There's just been a few crystal meth labs in the city that we've 
dismantled, investigated and gotten warrants for," said Nelson City 
Police Chief Dan Maluta. "I believe there have only been three or 
four thus far. So far it hasn't made major inroads into Nelson and 
it's certainly not an epidemic on the scale that it is down in the 
Lower Mainland or just across the border."

Maluta said that education would be the key to fighting an increased 
prevalence of meth in Nelson.

"We're hoping to stem the floodgates of it becoming an issue here 
through an aggressive enforcement and education campaign with our 
youth and we're hoping it doesn't gain a significant foothold in 
Nelson," Maluta said.

Maluta clearly stated that strong measures would be taken around the 
production and trafficking of crystal meth, and that such matters 
would become a top priority for city police.

"If intelligence was gleaned that there were people trafficking 
crystal meth in the city and that there was an opportunity for us to 
be involved in enforcement, we would aggressively pursue that. If and 
when it does come to light we would probably refocus our priorities 
to make that the top priority. There's no question. That's how much 
of a scourge it is to society. There's nothing probably more 
dangerous out there."

Crystal meth is concocted with a variety of chemicals, fires and 
explosions in meth labs can result.

"The labs themselves are very dangerous places," Maluta said.

Crystal meth is also highly addictive.

"The anecdotal reporting of people with first hand experience shows 
that there's many cases where people have indicated that they were 
hooked after the first try and their lives consumed and destroyed in 
the process," Maluta said.

Some meth addicts, desperate for the next high, will resort to 
extreme measures to ensure they are able to do so.

"I can't recall exactly the percentage, but it's somewhere in the 
realm of 70 to 80 per cent of financial institution robberies in the 
Lower Mainland are geared to addicts financing their habit," Maluta said.
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