New legislation signed by President Clinton on October 17 entitled the "Children's Health Act of 2000 (HR 4365)" contained provisions addressing the growing methamphetamine problem in America.
The fight against meth is a top priority for Conference President Boise Mayor H. Brent Coles, who in January of this year hosted a major national conference on the issue of meth and drug abuse in smaller communities.
The meth provisions in the bill were drawn from legislation sponsored by Utah Rep. Chris Cannon (HR 2987) and Missouri Sen. John Ashcroft (S 486).
Among many provisions, the signed bill would:
- direct the U.S. Sentencing Commission to increase prison terms for offenses relating to the manufacturing of meth;
- authorize $20 million in FY 2001 to be provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to states and cities to clean up hazardous meth labs;
- authorize $15 million a year through FY 2004 for High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs) to hire new federal, state and local law enforcement personal. The money would be allocated among HIDTAs based on the number of meth labs discovered, the number of arrests, the amount of seized drugs, and abuse data;
- authorize $5.5 million for DEA training programs related to training state and local meth investigators, certify state and local law enforcement in handling meth labs, and staff mobile training teams;
- authorize $9.5 million to hire new DEA agents to help state and local law enforcement in mid-sized communities;
- authorize $3 million to investigate the diversion of chemicals used in making meth;
- authorize $10 million in grants to states for meth treatment;
- direct the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a study on the development of medicines to treat addiction to methamphetamine; and
- direct HHS to submit to the designated committees of Congress on an annual basis a report on the problems caused by methamphetamine consumption in rural areas, suburban areas, small cities, mid-size cities, and large cities.