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Officials: Mississippi Winning Fight Against Meth

By Daniel Cherry | Published 26 Jul 2012 06:39pm | comments
Mississippi's top narcotics enforcement officer says the state is leading the charge in the fight against meth. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports officials are pushing nationwide restrictions on one of the drug's key ingredients.
 
A health subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives is looking for new ways to curb the nation's methamphetamine epidemic. Mississippi has a law requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine products, like Sudafed, which is a key ingredient in making meth. Before the law went into effect two years ago Rankin County Judge Kent McDaniel says meth was a major problem.
 
"We were having probably 60-80% of our criminal docket every Tuesday was meth cases. Either making meth, people selling meth, people using meth, it literally just took over my criminal docket."
 
Now McDaniel says meth cases in his county are rare. Marshall Fisher, Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics testified before congress earlier this week about the law.
 
"Prior to us passing this law I had agents out there every night of the week chasing meth labs, arresting drug addicts, putting drug addicts in jail, doing our job, but they weren't able to focus on major drug trafficking organizations."
 
Fisher points out, operational meth labs in the state are down 93%. He believes, if Congress would enact similar legislation nationwide, meth production could plummet.
 
"I don't know that this is going to take off nationally, I hope it does. But it's a start. It's a lot further than we were down the road just a few years ago. And our numbers matter now because it's been two years. We've got two years of real numbers to look at, and you can't argue with those numbers."
 
Fisher admits, the law is an inconvenience for those who take pseudoephedrine products for allergies. However, he believes putting up a roadblock for the production of meth is well worth it.

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