The Tulsa World on fighting meth

Tulsa, Oklahoma (AP) 9-07

Oklahoma, which has had a serious methamphetamine problem for 20 years, also has a reputation for taking proactive steps to counteract this epidemic.

Several years ago the Legislature passed landmark legislation limiting over-the counter sales of products containing pseudoephedrine, a building block chemical of illegal meth. Pseudoephedrine is contained in common cold and allergy medications.

Even with that legislation, copied by dozens of states, the meth problem has not gone away. Now, almost $3 million has been approved by a federal agency to help fight methamphetamine production and use. Four American Indian tribes and three other organizations in the state will receive grants of $364,194 to $467,618.

Recipients are the Osage Nation, the Absentee Shawnee Tribe, the Chickasaw Nation, the Seminole Nation, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office and the Oklahoma Police Chiefs Training Foundation.

The federal money coming to Oklahoma is part of an announcement covering $49.5 million that will go to scores of law enforcement agencies in more than 35 states.

Throwing money at a problem doesn’t always work but there is a good chance that these grants used in a strategic battle against meth will help, especially in rural areas where meth rules the drug world.