US Marijuana Party

Saturday, May 14, 2005

To Stop Meth, Families Must Crack Down On Marijuana

To Stop Meth, Families Must Crack Down On Marijuana

Associated Press Writer

BOYS TOWN, Neb. -- Jalyn Todd said she first used methamphetamine in 1992 to lose weight.

In the months that followed she became heavily addicted, Todd said.

She neglected her two children, lost weight, developed open sores and had other health problems, Todd said. At 40 years old, she weighed 90 pounds.

Finally, she looked at herself in the mirror and decided she did not want to die, Todd said. She sought counseling and by 1993 had taken steps to turn her life around, she said.

Now a drug and alcohol counselor in Lincoln, Todd told about 200 people at a conference on methamphetamine that the drug can affect anyone.

"This is an equal-opportunity drug," Todd said. "It takes everybody."

The Nebraska Foster Care Review Board sponsored the daylong conference at Girls and Boys Town. Set up for case managers, foster care providers, attorneys, judges and others working in the juvenile courts system, the conference focused on the dangers methamphetamine poses to children; police and legislative responses and possible treatments for addicts.

The review board began seeing an increase in the number of children taken from homes because of meth-addicted parents about two years ago, executive director Carolyn Stitt said.

The board studies the effects of general drug use on the foster care system, and it plans to study methamphetamine's effect more specifically, she said.

The board also plans to hold similar methamphetamine conferences this summer in Grand Island, North Platte and Scottsbluff, she said.

At Friday's gathering, U.S. Attorney Mike Heavican warned that alcohol and marijuana are gateway drugs to methamphetamine. Parents need to crack down on any illegal drug use in their homes, he said, or the growing meth problem will not go away.

"You need to be indignant in your homes, your schools, about innocent' use of marijuana," Heavican said.

If parents are not tough on their children the methamphetamine problem will continue to grow, Heavican said.

Shane Flynn, the Nebraska State Patrol's Clandestine Laboratory Coordinator, said it is easier for high school children to get meth than it is for them to obtain a six-pack of beer. Flynn, who has worked in the narcotics division since 1997, said street prices for meth have dropped by 700 percent over the last 10 years.

Flynn said law enforcement cannot deal with the problem alone. Methamphetamine is so addictive that doctors need to be involved, Flynn said. Children found in homes where meth is being made need to be placed in safe environments, Flynn said.

Children can be exposed in the womb and from toxic chemicals used in home-based meth labs. Nationally, thousands of children have been taken away from meth-abusing parents in recent years and placed with relatives or overloaded foster care systems.

Meth is a powerful stimulant that can be smoked, snorted, swallowed or injected. It contains pseudoephedrine, found in common over-the-counter cold medications. The drug often is cooked in small quantities in kitchens, trailers or car trunks.

The state Legislature is considering a bill (LB117) designed to impede access to pseudoephedrine. The bill would require people who buy popular cold medicines such as Sudafed and Claritin to be at least 18 and show identification, and sellers of the products to be at least 19.

Under the bill, items containing pseudoephedrine would have to be kept behind store counters or in locked cabinets.

Alcohol and marijuana are not gateway drugs to methamphetimine. Marijuana prohibition is the gateway to meth, especially for young people.

Meth stays detectable in your system for about 72 hours whereas, marijuana stays detectable in your system for up to 45 days. High school students who would normally probably only smoke pot which, is the least harmful of the three substances mentioned in this article, are now using meth because they know they can party on Friday and test clean on Monday.

So there is your GATEWAY!

Give them back their pot and they'll forget about the meth.


  • if meth is 700% cheaper now than 10 years ago wouldnt the dealers be paying people to use it and if it;s easier to get than beer then maybe it's time to allow addicts to aquire their poison of choice from their doc's or clinics like we have done with methadone for so many years i spent seven yrs on the clinic and at least 50-60 percent of the clients had improved health and were able to turn their lives around to where the could take care of their family's and function at thier jobs that is a far better rate of improvement than any jail or prison and it's a whole hell of a lot cheaper fighting the black market has NEVER WORKED the only way to beat it is to make unprofitable

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:54 AM  

  • I found this quote very, very interesting:

    "Shane Flynn, the Nebraska State Patrol's Clandestine Laboratory Coordinator, said it is easier for high school children to get meth than it is for them to obtain a six-pack of beer. Flynn, who has worked in the narcotics division since 1997..."

    People like Flynn just do not understand that the drug prohibition laws actually facilitate a situation that makes it easier for minors to gain access to forbidden substances. The dealer does not ask for proof of age, all a kid needs is cash! If meth (and coke) were both legally available only to the responsible adults who want to use them, just like beer is legally available only to responsible adults who want to drink it, then meth would be harder for young people to get than it is today.

    I wonder why Flynn is blind to the flip side of his own argument? Too much caffeine maybe?

    So, legalize meth, for adults only, sell it in a liquor store or other restricted adult only establishment, and let moms buy ordinary cold pills for their kids without having to sign police logs at the pharmacy.

    Oh, and while you are at it, legalize pot. It is much less harmful than meth.



    By Anonymous zen4usa, at 5:33 PM  

  • If pot was legalized kids would not feel the need to rebel with it because it would lose its "cool" factor...i am a junior in high school and i have smoked for years...there are so many wannabes that try to smoke that dont even like to get high..if it was legalized it would become a normal thing...then there would be no posers,and also no one would be on the streets dealing it so there would be a dramatic drop in the crime rate...people need to realize that pot in my high school is soooo comon that 1 out of 3 students deal or smoke...put it in a gas station and it will lose its dangerous/rebellious will seperate us serious smokers from the wannabe rebel crowd, suck on that us government

    By Anonymous Corey Woods Alton,il, at 12:10 PM  

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