Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Two steps forward

Good news in our state-level war on drugs: The number of crystal meth labs being discovered in Georgia is down, which is a very good thing.
In 2003, 800 home meth-labs were dismantled in the state of Georgia. Law enforcement officials predict they may not even dismantle a hundred clandestine labs this year.
I know for a fact that my county Drug Task Force has pushed virtually all, if not every one, of the meth producers out of the county. I'm thankful for that, as I've been a first-hand witness to both the drug's effects on its users and what happens when a meth lab explodes. It seems that last year's law forcing all drugs containing pseudoephedrine behind the pharmacy counter and limiting the per-purchase quantity of those drugs has helped to a large degree as well.

There's a catch though: crystal methamphetamine use is not down, nor is the supply on the street. Why?
On August 30th, David Nahmias, the United States Attorney with the Northern District of Georgia said, “Atlanta is an epicenter for [crystal meth]. Not only just the use, that is continuing to grow in North Georgia, but more the distribution throughout the east coast of the United States.”

Nahmias made that statement after Federal, State and Local law enforcement agents seized a record amount of the drug. But it was not home-made. It was shipped from Mexico.

The importing of methamphetamine has grown as substantially as the home labs have decreased. It is changing the focus of the fight for people like Phil Price [Special Agent in Charge, GBI].

“The imported meth is so readily available that it’s not cost effective to make your own,” Price said.
In other words, were it not for our sieve-like southern border, the supply, and thus the use, of one of the worst and most widely available drugs to ever hit Georgia would be severely curtailed. So thanks FedGov for nullifying the efforts of my state lawmakers and law enforcement personnel, not to mention your own anti-drug agencies. Yeah, I saw the money Congress recently set aside for a bit of a wall on the southern border, but what kind of success could my state have had in our fight against meth had you secured our national border 5 years ago, or 10, or 20, or even last year, when the raw material supply of our in-state meth producers was heavily restricted? So Georgia take two steps forward, and one giant step back.

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