House Committee Approves Bill to Combat Indian Meth Use By Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - A House subcommittee today took a step toward helping Indian communities battle crisis levels of methamphetamine use.
A House Judiciary subcommittee passed legislation sponsored by Democratic New Mexico Representative Tom Udall. The bill would allow territories and Indian tribes to receive law enforcement grants to battle meth use.
Udall says larger meth legislation passed by Congress last year "unintentionally left out" Indian tribes as possible applicants for some grant programs. This legislation would clarify that law so the tribes would be eligible.
Udall noted that meth use has been disproportionately worse in Native American communities, citing a 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. That study reported a "past year methamphetamine use" rate of 1.7 percent for American Indians and Alaska Natives, and 2.2 percent for Native Hawaiians.
The full committee will consider the legislation Wednesday. It is expected to pass the bill, which will then move to the House floor.