More to be done for Meth Task Force

The idea of continuing the legal authorization for an optional government entity in the midst of bleak economic times would ordinarily draw robust criticism, especially from fiscal conservatives.

Not so with the state’s Methamphetamine Task Force.

A bill to extend the life of the task force for another four years — sponsored by state Rep. Laura Bradford and Sen. Josh Penry, both Grand Junction Republicans — has been approved by the state Legislature and is awaiting the governor’s signature. And with good reason.

Not only is the task force fighting a dangerous drug, but it can point to some substantial success. Colorado authorities found 151 meth labs in 2005. By 2007, that number had dropped to 46.

In Mesa County, which has been at the forefront of the meth fight, the price of the drug has increased and its availability decreased while drug-case criminal filings have also dropped, local authorities say. And the county-funded meth treatment center has helped treat meth addicts while reducing crowding in the county jail.

The state task force doesn’t add to state budget headaches. It derives all of its funding from private donations and grants.

But meth is increasingly being imported from Mexico. Its use continues to destroy lives, provoke violence and cost money.

There is much work remaining for the task force. Kudos to Bradford and Penry for shepherding the legislation through the Capitol to ensure it can continue that work.


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