WASHINGTON, D.C. (ABC4) – Utah’s Representative John Curtis is one of four law lawmakers introducing a bipartisan bill that would declare methamphetamine an emerging drug threat.
Rep. Curtis, a Republican, is joined by Representative Scott Peters (D-Cali.) and Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Cali.) to introduce the Methamphetamine Response Act.
By declaring methamphetamine an emerging drug threat, lawmakers say the Office of National Drug Control Policy would be required to develop, implement, and make public a national plan to prevent methamphetamine addiction and overdoses from becoming a crisis.
“Over the last decade, methamphetamine addiction and fatalities have skyrocketed across the United States especially in rural areas like the ones I am proud to represent. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the problem by spreading resources thinly and making it more difficult to connect with individuals in need of support. To combat this threat, I am proud to co-lead the bipartisan Methamphetamine Response Act, which channels the necessary resources at the highest levels of government to develop and implement a nationwide plan to prevent this dangerous drug from becoming even more prevalent in our communities,” says Curtis.
The national plan would be updated annually and include an assessment of the methamphetamine threat, goals to combat it, the level of funding needed to implement the plan, and performance measures of the plan’s goals.
“Once known as the meth capital of the United States, San Diego has a long, arduous history in working to combat methamphetamine production and addiction,” says Peters. “Law enforcement officials still refer to our region as ‘ground zero’ for the nation’s meth problem, and a surge in the amount of the drug smuggled across the U.S. Mexico border in recent years has caused overdose cases to skyrocket. Our communities are in crisis and require the support of the government to address this issue head-on. As meth-related deaths continue to rise with each passing year, it is critical we recognize meth as an emerging threat nationwide.”
Sen. Feinstein says that in just a five-month period, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than 75,000 pounds of methamphetamine.
“Clearly we are in the midst of a meth crisis and we must implement a national, comprehensive plan to address this threat before it claims even more American lives.”