DEATH * BY * METH

This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

OUR OPINION: Put meth problem on front burner (North Dakota)

Our view: North Dakota would do well in following Minnesota's successful example.
During a recent visit with the Grand Forks Herald editorial board, Minnesota State Rep. Jeff Johnson, R-Plymouth, candidate for attorney general, reported a spectacular 78 percent decrease in the number of methamphetamine labs in Minnesota.

In part, the good news is a result of a law that went into effect in August 2005 and was sponsored by Johnson. The law restricts sales of pseudoephedrine-containing pills (decongestants) to only two boxes per person a month and increases the criminal penalties for those making methamphetamine.

Meth is a mean master. It is extremely addictive, and users struggle to free themselves from its clutches. Unfortunately, it's as easy to cook as a chocolate cake. The recipe is simple: cold medication (main ingredient) and chemicals such as brake fluid, drain cleaner, alkaline batteries, anhydrous ammonia and phosphorus from matches.

This toxic "cake" can leave the user with the "telltale" disintegrated teeth and a permanently damaged central nervous system. Users often are paranoid, aggressive and violent. Innocent children of users also are endangered by the cooking chemicals and left with permanently damaged systems.

Johnson says he isn't stopping with the law, which is only Phase One of his Meth-Free Minnesota Plan. Next, he plans to include public education, treatment programs that work, tougher enforcement, increased penalties for meth importation and coordinated regional efforts with neighboring attorneys general.

Minnesota's attack on this problem is commendable. Other states could learn from this example. North Dakota is seriously affected by meth, the Drug Enforcement Administration indicates.

In North Dakota, the meth threat is two-pronged. Mexican organizations operating out of California and Washington are transporting and distributing in North Dakota. Unfortunately, methamphetamine can be easily produced in small laboratories a few ounces at a time. That makes abandoned houses in isolated, rural areas and on Indian reservations, where jurisdiction is sometimes cloudy, ideal kitchens for cookers.

North Dakota is a state dependent on agricultural industries, which means there is a high level of anhydrous ammonia available around the state for legitimate use - a calling card for meth cookers. The state also has four large reservations.

There is little doubt methamphetamine is a serious problem in North Dakota and Minnesota. Johnson has a good plan - Meth-Free Minnesota Plan. North Dakota

http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/living/food/14967194.htm

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