(The Elkhart Truth Editorial Board) Several county prosecutors testified before a committee in the Indiana General Assembly this week. They pointed to Indiana’s huge methamphetamine problem and said that curbing pseudoephedrine sales is needed to battle the scourge.
Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill didn’t testify. If he had, it wouldn’t have been to limit PSE.
Hill, who is also running for Indiana Attorney General, told the Elkhart Truth Editorial Board that the real problem with meth in Indiana is demand.
“As long as demand is there, everything else is secondary,” he said.
The Elkhart Truth and its editorial board don’t always agree with Hill, but on this issue, we believe he’s right. It’s unorthodox to say, but the answer to Indiana’s meth problems isn’t limiting a legal drug that works really well to fight cold symptoms.
Hill, who is in his fourth term as the county’s chief prosecutor, has fought meth dealers. When he took office, there were few manufacturers in the county because the county was “swimming in Mexican meth,” he said.
About the time of the recession in 2008, after Hill and his staff had busted some major dealers, meth labs became commonplace locally. By 2013, Indiana led the nation in the number of meth labs busted andElkhart County was in the top five counties in the state.
Would Elkhart County residents have figured out how to start meth production if there was still Mexican supply? Probably at least to some degree. Making the drug in even soda bottles and putting them in a car trunk or backpack has become part of modern life in most communities.
Hill has testified on “Methamphetamine in the Heartland” before Congress. He’s been part of a summit on the topic put together by the Office of National Drug Control Policy out of the president’s office. He knows the topic well.
The real problem isn’t supply, he said. The real problem is demand. Fighting labs is important, but he’s unsure how much that will limit the flow of the drug.
This is a man who has aggressively prosecuted drug dealers. He is committed to trying to get rid of drugs, not just lower the amount of them, in our community.
Gov. Mike Pence points to heroin as being a big problem for Indiana and it is.
Hill said prescription drugs are a bigger problem than either meth or heroin. He’s also gone after those who sell synthetic marijuana.
Meth is a huge problem for Indiana, among other states. Some have passed laws to regulate PSE. In Indiana, one of the potential new laws would have pharmacists limit the sales of PSE by requiring a prescription.
The state is responsible to keep its resident as safe as possible. Drunk driving laws limit the amount of alcohol a person can consume before getting behind the wheel. Getting a gun in this state and country is relatively easy, but there is a legal process that regulates it to some degree.
It would be easy for Hill to say that we should limit everything we can when it comes to making meth. He could say that Indiana’s problem is so large that we use whatever means necessary to limit it.
He’s not saying that. He’s saying that there isn’t a magic bullet and fighting the problem means working at prevention. He said the key is getting to a 12-year-old and mentoring him or her, influencing the young person to stay away from the stuff.
Hill will keep fighting meth production and distribution.
His office will prosecute those who make, sell or use meth. While he does that, he’s also saying that we need to work at prevention. That makes sense to us. It seems like common sense.
- Brian Howey: Indiana is the methamphetamine state Jan. 28, 2016
- Indiana bill would flag drug offenders buying cold medicine Jan. 28, 2016
- Indiana panel OKs allowing prescriptions for cold medicines Jan. 28, 2016
See article: http://www.elkharttruth.com/discussions/local-dialogue/editorials/2016/01/31/Meth-use-won-t-diminish-by-regulating-cold-medicine.html