Thursday, December 7, 2006
State’s meth laws helping curb problem
Since Mississippi’s meth law went into effect just over a year ago, meth lab seizures have gone down 65 percent, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.
The new law passed by the Mississippi Legislature restricted access to Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine, the primary ingredients in the manufacturing of crystal meth.
According to statistics obtained from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, total meth lab seizures in Mississippi the 15 months before Mississippi Code §41-29-313 went into effect (March 1, 2004-June 30, 2005) were 486.
The new meth law went into effect July 1, 2005, and statistics for the following 15 months (July 1, 2005-October 31, 2006) show 168 total meth lab seizures.
“I want to thank our lawmakers for a law that has proven successful right off the bat and our law enforcement for their continuous hard work in curbing the meth problem in our state,” said Hood.
Within the last year, there have been about a dozen cases affirmed by the Mississippi Supreme Court and Court of Appeals for people convicted of possessing the chemicals used in meth manufacturing (examples: starter fluid, dry ice, lithium batteries, lye, nail polish remover, toilet bowl cleaner). In one case a man was convicted where he had the ingredients and almost 300 cold tablets. He is now spending more than 30 years in jail.
Mississippi’s meth law has enhanced penalties for manufacturing the drug in the presence of children. According to a study obtained through the Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Resource Center, the number of children present at meth labs more than doubled from 1999 through 2001. Along with the physical and psychological effects of being exposed to such dangerous chemicals, abuse and neglect cases rise in association with meth cases.
“We need to look beyond our numbers to see that we’re not only cutting down on the number of meth labs in the state, but also on the number of our children who are falling victim in the manufacturing of meth,” said Hood.
National Methamphetamine Awareness Day is sponsored by the Department of Justice and supported by the National Association of Attorneys General through a resolution sponsored by Attorney General Hood and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. The purpose is to generate awareness about the damaging effects of meth abuse on individuals, families and American communities.
For more information about National Methamphetamine Awareness Day, visit www.agjimhood.com.
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