Mohave gets meth grant

$20,000 earmarked for MAGNET

KINGMAN ­ Gov. Janet Napolitano announced on Wednesday that the Arizona Parents Commission on Drug Education and Prevention is providing the Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team with a $20,000 methamphetamine grant.

A total of $440,000 will be distributed to Arizona counties to participate in the statewide prevention program. Napolitano said the money earmarked for Mohave County would be given to MAGNET directly. The grant is also meant to encourage law enforcement officers to participate in a statewide meth forum scheduled for next month in Phoenix.

The parent's commission funds programs that increase parental involvement and education about the risks caused by alcohol and controlled substances abuse. The commission works with the Governor's Division For Substance Abuse Policy.

Area law enforcement agencies have said that the majority of meth seized in Mohave County is made in Mexico.

Speaking by telephone from her office, Napolitano said the production of meth varies depending on the region.

"Different law enforcement agencies in different parts of the state report different amounts. Some parts of the state they say 80-percent of the meth is homegrown," she said. "I think you need to address it in two ways: one is we need more border law enforcement to keep the meth from coming over from Mexico."

Addressing homegrown meth is the second issue. Napolitano said she would be addressing border issues in her State of the State address Tuesday.

Spokespersons for the MAGNET agencies said that as of Wednesday, they had not been informed about receiving the grant.

"We welcome the governor's grant," said spokesman Emmett Sturgill from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

The money came as a bit of good news since the local task force learned last month that the U.S. Bureau of Justice was cutting its grant funding by 60-percent. MAGNET receives $235,000 from the federal agency mostly to employ officers and attorneys for the task force.

"I don't know what they're thinking about back in Washington, D.C. about what our country needs, because losing funding to fight a scourge like meth is really pennywise and pound foolish," Napolitano said.

The governor also commended Kingman's City Council for enacting an ordinance that requires all products containing any amount of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or related substances be removed from direct customer access. The new law requires the retail store to record the purchaser's name, date of birth and the quantity sold.

Napolitano said she would ask the state legislature to pass a similar law statewide, "so that meth cookers can't go from city to city or county to county Š and get the precursor chemicals."

She added that the law the legislature passed last year creating restrictions on the purchase of precursor substances was a good start but it was not tough enough.