One of Iowa’s chief anti-drug agents is testifying this morning (Tuesday) before a Congressional panel about the widening methamphetamine problem. Sean McCullough, Special Agent in Charge of the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, is appearing before the Senate Finance Committee.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley chairs that panel and says despite diligent efforts to thwart meth producers, the drug is still finding its way into the U.S. and Iowa. Grassley says “This summer, a survey taken by the National Association of Counties revealed that meth is considered the number-one illegal drug problem for nearly half of all the counties across America. In Iowa, 79 of our 99 counties said that meth is the number-one problem.”
Grassley says while many “mom and pop” meth making operations have been shut down in Iowa, the drug is still arriving here via a drug pipeline from Mexico. Grassley says the purpose of the hearing is to gather testimony about the “changing geography of meth use and production.” They’ll look at how meth ingredients and drug money are moved, along with the extent and effectiveness of various law agencies on the federal, state and local level.
Grassley says Iowa led the way with its restrictions on meth precursors, forcing drug stores to take more precautions with cold and allergy medications containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in meth. Numerous other states followed Iowa’s example, as did the federal government, but Grassley says the benefits were temporary.
Grassley says “Now, of course, filling that void, sophisticated international cartels have come in, dominating meth trafficking.” The Washington D.C. hearing was supposed to begin at nine A.M. Central time.