Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sun, Aug. 09

Protecting Arizonans from methamphetamine

Governor Janet Napolitano

Governor Janet Napolitano

Earlier this week, I co-hosted, along with Attorney General Terry Goddard, the first Arizona Methamphet-amine Action Conference. It is the largest event of its kind ever held in Arizona, and it brought together experts from various disciplines, community leaders and many state agencies to formulate and execute strategies for attacking the meth problem. Representatives from all 15 counties and six border communities were present, and all left with a resolve to work together to eradicate meth.

Meth is a serious threat. It is cheap, easy to get and highly addictive. Violent crime is often tied to meth, making it a danger to children and families in our neighborhoods.

To be effective, we need to attack the meth problem from all angles. That is why I have announced that I am dedicating $5 million for the Arizona Department of Public Safety to form three meth interdiction and investigation squads and provide support to our rural communities, which often have limited crime-fighting resources.

Additionally, my administration is creating a multi-agency task force that will analyze our anti-meth strategies from top to bottom to ensure we are tackling this problem from every angle possible.

We need to continue working to restrict access to the non-prescription medications that are used to make meth. In many cities in Arizona, pseudoephedrine -- one of the primary ingredients for making meth -- is now regulated to separate those who are buying it for legitimate purposes from those who want to use it for meth production.

Please join me in supporting a similar law that creates those same restrictions statewide. If the ingredients for the drug are harder to get, fewer people will make it at home; and with a tougher statewide approach that uniformly restricts the sale of pseudoephedrine and other precursor products, we can stop meth cookers from going city to city to stock up on pseudoephedrine.

While a great deal of the meth supply is made in kitchens all over the state, much of it is smuggled in from Mexico. I have also addressed this issue in my $100 million dollar border initiative, which would put the squeeze on other drugs and criminal activity.

We need to be persistent in our fight against meth. We cannot afford to lose an entire generation of Arizonans to this destructive and deadly drug, and it is incumbent upon all of us to ensure that we are doing as much as we can to protect our state's children from the dangers of methamphetamine.

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