Pubdate: Fri, 24 Mar 2006
Source: Kansas City Star (MO)
Copyright: 2006 The Kansas City Star
Author: Associated Press
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


WASHINGTON - Some states with significant methamphetamine problems
have not received their share of federal money because lawmakers have
directed most of a grant program to favored projects in their districts.

Missouri was cited Thursday by the Justice Department's inspector
general as one example of a shortchanged state. Missouri ranked
second, behind California, in seizing 11,859 meth labs between 1998
and 2004. But it was 10th in grants received, with $3.7 million. Texas
and Illinois were 10th and 11th in the number of labs seized, but 23rd
and 25th, respectively, in money from the meth initiative.

Meanwhile, the Sioux City Police Department in Iowa was given $10
million for a training program that Inspector General Glenn A. Fine
said was not focused on meth or any drug.

In Vermont, the State Police used more than half of their $2.4 million
grant for a task force to fight heroin. In Hawaii, where police seized
76 meth labs over seven years, a nonprofit group used $8.4 million in
money aimed at meth for a variety of anti-drug programs.

More than $179 million in anti-meth money administered by the
department - 84 percent of the grant funds - has been earmarked, as
the practice is known, by members of Congress for programs in their
states and districts, Fine said. "As a result of the significant use
of congressional earmarks in this program, funding is not always
directed to the areas of the country with the most significant meth
problem," Fine said in the report that examined the grant program from
1998 to 2005.

The Bush administration has proposed ending most meth-related earmarks
in the budget for 2007. Lawmakers have indicated that they are
unlikely to go along.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin