Tri-Net needs full funding to fight meth

Just as Carson City gets rolling on its campaign to eradicate methamphetamines, the federal government is yanking the chain on one of the most effective drug-fighting organizations in Northern Nevada.

The Tri-Net Narcotics Task Force for years has been investigating and busting drug dealers in Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties. Most of the work goes on behind the scenes, and Tri-Net usually targets the bigger dealers and meth labs.

The Task Force uses officers provided by the county law-enforcement agencies and operates under a justice assistance grant to Nevada from the federal government. But the current-year budget for the JAG grants has been cut from $900 million to $634 million nationally, meaning Tri-Net will be working with two-thirds of its budget if funding isn't restored.

Carson City supervisors will be asked Thursday to do their part by supporting a resolution asking Congress to reinstate JAG funding and approve the Combat Meth Act, which would provide $15 million toward law enforcement and, among other things, make pseudophedrine available only through pharmacies.

At the same time, the supervisors will hear a report on the progress of Partnership Carson City, the anti-meth coalition working on several fronts - prevention, treatment, law enforcement - to rid the city of its No. 1 drug nemesis.

The timing of the local campaign and the federal cutbacks is an unfortunate coincidence. The effort against illegal drugs needs to be united at all levels.

We're sure city supervisors will support the resolution, as it has already made a $100,000 commitment toward the local coalition. We urge Carson City residents also to write to Nevada's congressional delegation to restore JAG funding and tighten controls on meth-making drugs such as pseudophedrine.

This is the right time to pick up the pressure on illegal drugs, not back off.


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