Maine AG Convenes Methamphetamine Summit In Boston

May 26, 2005

As Eastern Regional Chair of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), Maine Attorney General Steve Rowe organized a methamphetamine (meth) summit in Boston today. In attendance were state attorneys general, leaders of state drug enforcement agencies, and/or heads of state substance abuse treatment and prevention departments from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Vermont, and Pennsylvania. Rowe convened the summit to facilitate information sharing designed to help the states work together on strategies to prevent the spread of meth manufacturing and abuse that has devastated other parts of the county.

Meth is a highly addictive stimulant that causes paranoid, violent behavior. Addicts sometimes manufacture methamphetamine in home labs using cold medicine and toxic, explosive chemicals, creating a potentially deadly environment for neighbors and children, and costly clean-up for property owners. Each home lab is a toxic waste site, creating a dangerous situation for police and other first responders.

Other states have implemented a variety of policy measures that have proven successful in reducing and preventing meth manufacturing and abuse. Some of these policies have been proposed in legislation pending in Maine and other northeastern states. These measures include purchase and sale restrictions on cold and sinus medicines containing the decongestant pseudoephedrine, which can be used to manufacture meth.

Rowe said, "Although we have discovered a number of methamphetamine labs in our states, we have not seen the epidemic growth in labs that has occurred in other parts of the nation. We have an opportunity to get ahead of this problem now, but that opportunity won't last for long. I think that Maine people will reap the benefits of regional cooperation on this issue. We know from our experience with other problem drugs that drug dealers and addicts don't pay much attention to state borders."