An Indiana county attracted national attention in a televised documentary about local difficulties with sale, production, and widespread use of meth (methamphetamine).
According to the report, meth use is up once again and so is the discovery of the dangerous labs used to make the homemade concoctions. By mid-November of this year, officials in Elkhart County had discovered 100 meth labs. That’s a pretty steep increase since 2008, when only 75 were uncovered the whole year.
Meth moved into most communities like this in the late 1990s. For Elkhart it came in 2002, appealing to the factory workers in the area, giving them a boost of energy and a deceptively brighter outlook on life. The false optimism of meth quickly deteriorates, however, as its subjects lose weight, lose friends and family, and enter sleep deprived hallucinations.
Elkhart County prosecutor Curtis T. Hill Jr. is said to take a hard line on meth offenses as he sees the bigger picture, the innocent lives affected by this drug. Tougher prosecution means a more crowded court system and jails.
Elkhart County Sheriff Mike Books estimates that 75% of the people filling his jail are there because of drugs, whether directly or indirectly. While this report highlights programs that are meant to help people once they enter the jail or prison system, there aren’t a whole lot of options on the “front end” of the system, working to prevent addiction and the crimes that come out of it.
Elkhart isn’t the only county getting tough on meth prosecution. State laws changed in 2005 to make offenses related to the drug slightly more serious.
If caught in possession of meth now, you can face felony charges. As a matter of fact, any amount less than 3 grams is a Class D felony. Yes this means you can do up to 3 years in prison for as little as 1 gram of meth.
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