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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2000

Governor Ryan Addresses Rising Methamphetamine Problem

COLLINSVILLE -- Governor George H. Ryan, Chair of the Midwestern Governor's Conference today convened a summit designed to help prevent Methamphetamine production and use.

The Governor addressed the seriousness of the drug and conveyed a sense of urgency regarding the need to develop a stronger plan of action against Methamphetamines.

"Midwestern states, especially in our rural areas, are struggling with methamphetamine," said Ryan. "It is a crucial public safety and law enforcement problem that needs a strategy for eradication."

"The resources of our law enforcement agencies are being stretched to the limit, and communities of all sizes are faced with increasing social and economic costs from the epidemic use of this dangerous drug as it spreads across the region," Ryan said.

Across the U.S., there has been a significant increase in Methamphetamine labs and users. In Illinois alone, the number of reported Methamphetamine lab seizures rose 763% over the last three years, from 24 labs in 1997 to 207 labs in 1999.

Governor Ryan has already initiated the fight against Methametamine use in Illinois. The signing of House Bill 2347 amended the Illinois controlled substances Act to toughen the minimum terms of imprisonment for manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with intent to deliver Methamphetamine.

Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Kansas, South Dakota, Nebraska, Indiana, North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota all belong to the Midwestern Governor's Conference. Each state was encouraged send a delegation of state of state-local law enforcement officials who are involved in this issue.

The first part of the summit will focus on the scope of the problem and current efforts to deal with Methamphetamine use, and the second on how states can work together to prevent the growing production and use of this drug.

Ryan hopes that the summit will lead to strengthening existing interstate cooperative law enforcement efforts, and to an expansion of efforts to share information among the states in the region and between the states and federal government.



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