Pubdate: Sat, 1 Aug 2009
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2009 The New York Times Company
Author: Anthony Papa


To the Editor:

In "Methland vs. Mythland" (column, July 21), Timothy Egan talks about
the methamphetamine epidemic that has been created by alarmist media
coverage. The meth epidemic still exists in the minds of some
small-town citizens.

Recently the City Council of Washington, Mo., became the first local
government in the country to require a prescription for cold
medications that contain pseudoephedrine, a substance that can be used
to manufacture methamphetamine. This action was the result of the
Missouri Legislature's inaction to combat the meth problem and has
attracted interest from other cities, setting a dangerous precedent.

The war on drugs creates convenient vehicles of seemingly being tough
on crime while hiding behind the shield of public safety. But this
shield gets worn down when our basic rights are curtailed through its

We need to invest scarce public resources into educating the public
about the use of meth and providing high-quality treatment options to
cure addiction, not create needless legislation.

Anthony Papa

New York

The writer is a communications specialist for the Drug Policy
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