Utah Tribes to Gain Access to Meth-fighting Grants
Congressman Jim Matheson said legislation approved today in the House today will allow tribal governments to apply for federal grants that are intended to combat methamphetamine production and abuse. Matheson is a co-sponsor of HR 545-the Native American Methamphetamine Enforcement & Treatment Act.
Matheson said current law only allows states to apply for such grants.
"Navajo Tribal leaders say that meth has become a bigger law enforcement problem on the reservation than even alcohol, which has been devastating to Native Americans," said Matheson. "As in other rural areas, the meth scourge is destroying families and costing lives. It's important that this same tool offered to law enforcement in the states be extended to the tribes."
Matheson noted that law enforcement officials believe the meth is coming from Phoenix and Mexico and say it is particularly hard to stop on the huge Navajo reservation, which covers 27,000 square miles and is plagued by a shortage of police officers.
The bill allows tribes to apply for grants under the Meth Hot Spots program, the Drug-Endangered Children program and other programs intended to assist local agencies.