RealNews

Anti-drug efforts have taken a hit as the fight against terrorism has siphoned away money and personnel

California law enforcement was shutting down 1,750 meth labs a year, from elaborate operations that could produce $80,000 worth of the drug daily to modest ventures that cooked it up in mobile homes, apartments, hotel rooms and even cars. Then came the Sept. 11 attacks. The U.S. government abruptly shifted priorities to fund the war on terror. As a result, the state where the methamphetamine frenzy began lost an $18 million-a-year federal grant that paid for its campaign against the drug. The number of clandestine labs that police dismantle these days is less than half what it was. At the same time, the state spent $6 million to start an anti-terrorism task force, and dozens of agents from the state’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement were transferred there. The bureau has lost almost one-fifth of its work force – 70 of 400 employees – since Sept. 11, 2001. Full Story

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