There is a critical epidemic affecting all of the communities across Region 8... It goes by many names... crank, crystal, ice, glass, chalk... but you most likely know it as meth.
I spoke with local law enforcement officials recently and they confirmed that drug abuse... specifically Meth... is by far the #1 issue impacting families throughout Arkansas and Missouri. Legislation to require identification when purchasing over the counter medication that is used in manufacturing the drug, has had a significant impact on reducing the amount of home cooked meth. Unfortunately drug dealers have now focused their efforts towards importing Ice... the more refined drug produced out west.
In Montana, they have attacked the problem head on by launching the Montana Meth Project. Graphic television ads air on television stations across the state with the slogan... Meth... not even once... which ties into the belief that you are hooked by trying Meth just one time.
Montana has had so much success we propose launching an Arkansas and Missouri Meth Project? We challenge local drug enforcement organizations, treatment and prevention agencies and other groups to join together to begin a focused effort to rid Region 8 of this devastating drug. KAIT is committed to help educate everyone in NE Arkansas and SE Missouri about this horrific problem. In fact, I have contacted the folks at the Montana Meth Project and because of copyright protection, talent agreements and other stipulations they are not able to release the video to other states. We'll keep trying to secure their approval to air the spots on KAIT, but if we can't, then we'll just produce our own.
In Mason County, Texas Sheriff Clint Low has another solution that is less shock based, but still effective. Sherriff Low had an overcrowding problem... so he painted the interior of his jail pink and requires inmates to wear pink jumpsuits. Sheriff Low said it really made an impact when the inmates were on work detail and their friends saw them wearing their pink jumpsuits.
Here's the great news... no one wants to go back to jail... the re-offense rate is down 70%. We want to challenge any sheriffs or chief's of police in Region 8 to paint your jail pink. Try it and let's see if it what has worked in Texas will work right here in Region 8.
Next month we are electing new state leaders. To all the candidates running for office... This needs to be a priority if you are elected... we are losing parents, kids, families and communities.
And finally... If you're making Meth, if you're dealing Meth, if you're doing Meth, we're gonna do everything we can to help our law enforcement officers find you and make sure you're Doing Time.