Terry Goddard plans to take his war on meth to Navajo

PRESCOTT ----Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard will bring his war against meth to the Navajo Nation.

Goddard will address the Navajo Nation Council July 17 about meth. In January, he met with Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley about the meth problem on the Navajo Nation.

Goddard discussed meth and other issues during an interview with the Navajo-Hopi Observer June 10 in Prescott.

Goddard said Congress recently passed legislation that makes it easier to fight meth on the reservations since the Patriot Act requires that people show identification if they are buying drugs with pseudoephedrine in it. Meth makers use pseudoephedrine to make meth.

"This has been a problem on the reservation because those making meth come in, cook it and leave the toxic parts behind," he said.

Goddard said before Congress passed this law that there could have been jurisdictional issues, but now this is a federal law.

Goddard hopes to make anti-meth public service announcements on the Navajo and Hopi reservations.

He said meth has people concerned in every community throughout the state. He said the state islooking at the entire dimension of the problem as meth has impacted not only law enforcement, but employers and the schools.

He said a Montana Meth Project has been held up as a role model for other states in using public service announcements to get the word out about the dangers of meth. The project is called "Not even once." He plans to get the first public service announcement out inEnglish. After that, he wants to follow it up with public service announcements for Native Americans and in Spanish.

Artifacts

Goddard has also focused on preserving Indian artifacts and trying to get the state legislature to pass an anti-gas price gouging law.

Goddard recently addressed the Arizona Indian Town Hall in Scottsdale about the need to protect Indian artifacts. Members from 14 tribes gathered to discuss litigation and legislation that is needed to protect Indian sacred sites including artifacts.

Goddard has taken developer George Johnson to task for bulldozing 35 acres of a Hohokam site in Pinal County.

Five state agencies, including the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, are suing Johnson, who is counter suing Goddard for $25 million.

Goddard said a lot of places throughout the Phoenix valley have Indian, particularly Hohokam, artifacts on them.

"We need to raise public awareness because a lot of people don't realize this," he said.

Goddard said many people in Northern Arizona realize that there are a multitude of artifacts in the area, but that people in the city--especially when they move here from out of state ----don't think about the land having Indian artifacts.

Many developers don't like hearing that they have Indian artifacts on their land, but Goddard said they should.

"It adds to the value to the land. It makes it more interesting and it helps it stand out," he said.

Gas prices

Goddard was in Washington D.C. June 12 along with 11 other state attorney generals as they were meeting with U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Federal Trade Commissioner Debra Majeras to see what can be done about high gas prices.

Goddard wasn't too optimistic because Majeras previously said that if gas prices were too high that people shouldn't buy them. Goddard compared Majeras' statement to Marie Antoinette's 'let them eat cake.'

Although Goddard wasn't optimistic, he said that any action must be taken that could bring sanity to the gas prices.

Goddard said gas companies used the Katrina disaster and gas pipe breaks in Texas to triple prices. "The industry is charging what they can," he said.

Goddard said he has also been prodding the Arizona state legislature to pass an anti-gas gouging law. The proposal passed through the House, but the Senate leadership refused to let the bill be heard on the Senate floor.

Goddard said the proposal would allow the gas companies to continue to make profits, but "they wouldn't be able to stick it to the consumer." He said the consumer is losing every possible break and he believes the anti gas gouging law would pass the Senate if it went to the floor.

(Stan Bindell, former Observer editor, is journalism and radio teacher at Hopi High School.)

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