Who knew that the Tacoma News-Tribune could dish such snark directly at the White House:

If meth and marijuana were weapons, meth would be a fully automatic assault rifle and marijuana a black-powder musket.

“Yet to the Bush administration,” editorializes TNT, “pot is the greater drug threat. When local officials are pleading for more help in fighting the growing meth scourge, the administration is proposing to cut $804 million in federal grants that local governments use to combat meth …” More below:
Ghostdancer way grabbed the ball from last night’s BooTrib story, “The Meth Crisis,” and posted a significant diary this morning — The War on Drugs in America. Ghostdancer way’s diary contains some valuable background information and helpful links.

Today’s TNT editorial adds needed punches right where they belong — smack dab at President Bush:

A spokeswoman for the White House Office of Drug Control Policy explains the focus on marijuana: “The U.S. currently has 15 million regular marijuana users but only 1 million methamphetamine users.”

That’s an incredibly myopic view of the problem. Meth addiction occurs soon after use begins – and the consequences to society are staggering. Meth use is directly linked to burglary, identity theft and domestic violence rates as well as a rise in foster-care placements. Children who are taken from home meth labs are often hungry, neglected and ill.

The cost of treating imprisoned addicts’ many serious health problems is driving up justice system costs. And contaminated property must be cleaned up, often at public expense. In Pierce County alone, 542 meth labs were cleaned up last year. That’s more than one-third of the 1,399 labs discovered statewide.

The administration might be wearing blinders when it comes to meth, but local officials – the people on the front lines of the real drug war – are all too aware of the problem …

Washington state is leading the way with the full involvement of its members of Congress and state laws passed that require that cold medicines be sold behind the counter in drug stores:

Members of Congress appear to recognize the scope of the meth problem; the House Meth Caucus includes about 100 members, and support is growing for a federal law that would restrict access to cold medicines that contain a meth precursor. Like legislation passed in Olympia earlier this year that goes into effect Oct. 1, the proposed law would move cold medicines behind the counter and limit the amount an individual could buy.

Congress should block the administration’s attempt to cut funds to local police departments. Some of those agencies are just starting to make progress against meth in their communities. To cut funding now would be more than foolish; it would be tragic.