New York Times
Local officials from across the country yesterday declared methamphetamine the nation's leading law enforcement scourge - a more insidious drug problem than cocaine - and blamed it for crowding jails and fueling increases in theft and violence, as well as for a host of social welfare problems.
Officials from the National Association of Counties, releasing results from a survey of 500 local officials nationwide, argued that Washington's focus on terrorism and domestic security had diverted money and attention from the methamphetamine problem in the states.
They pleaded with lawmakers to restore financing for an $804 million drug-fighting program that the group said had been proposed for elimination in the 2006 federal budget, and said the Bush administration had focused its drug-fighting efforts too much on marijuana and not enough on methamphetamine.
Of 500 law enforcement agencies in 45 states, 87 percent reported increases in methamphetamine-related arrests in the last three years, and 62 percent reported increases in laboratory seizures.
Fifty-eight percent said methamphetamine was their largest drug problem. Nineteen percent said cocaine was, 17 percent said marijuana and 3 percent said heroin.
The officials also called for more money for treatment and said the Bush administration should shift its antidrug efforts, which have emphasized preventing marijuana use among teenagers.
Sheriffs say meth is drug fight No. 1
Published July 6, 2005
EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- The crippling reach of methamphetamine abuse has become the nation's leading drug problem affecting local law-enforcement agencies, according to a survey of 500 sheriffs' departments in 45 states.
More than half the sheriffs interviewed for a National Association of Counties survey released Tuesday said they consider meth the worst problem facing their departments.
The report comes soon after the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy restated its stance that marijuana remains the nation's most substantial drug problem. Federal estimates show there are 15 million marijuana users, compared with the 1 million who might use meth.