ADMINISTRATOR ASA HUTCHINSON APPEARS AT
Asa Hutchinson, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, appeared today at a Congressional News Conference concerning methamphetamine legislation, H.R.3782. The legislation, entitled the CLEAN-UP Methamphetamine Act of 2002, is a bipartisan initiative that highlights a coordinated effort between the METH Caucas and the Administration to combat the nation's escalating methamphetamine problem.
Meeting with former colleagues, Administrator Hutchinson praised the efforts Congressman Ose (R-California), as well as the bipartisan efforts of the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources, the Congressional Caucus to Fight and Control Methamphetamine, and the Speaker's Task Force for a Drug Free America. Said Administrator Hutchinson, "Methamphetamine knows no political boundaries. Methamphetamine robs good people of their character and their sense of right and wrong."
The CLEAN UP Methamphetamine Act is designed to address the problem of methamphetamine use and production on several fronts. First, the legislation provides funding and assistance for environmental clean up. Second, it provides community based initiatives to include treatment for people addicted to methamphetamine, as well as an educational component for children concerning the dangers of mehtamphetamine. Finally, the legislation increases support and funding for methamphetamine enforcement activities such as raves. The CLEAN UP Methamphetamine Act would authorize $60 million for the clean-up and associated costs of methamphetamine labs, $30 million in grants for local education and treatment programs, and $20 million for COPS' grants for state and local prosecutors and law enforcement agents.
Other speakers at today's news conference included Representatives Brian Baird (D-Washington), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Zach Wamp (R-Tennessee), Bob Barr (R-Georgia) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). Commenting on the escalating problem of methamphetamine, Rep. Portman noted that methamphetamine lab seizures had risen in Ohio from 24 in 1997 to close to 200 in 2001. Underscoring the importance of this problem Administrator Hutchinson stated, "It is time to CLEAN UP the damage caused by methamphetamine."