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Senate Approves Equal Access to Anti-Meth.

In a recent Bureau of Indian Affairs survey, 70 percent of tribal law enforcement agencies indicated that meth is the greatest public safety threat to their reservation.




(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The U.S. Senate has approved Oregon Senator Gordon Smith‚''s legislation granting Native American communities equal access to federal funds to combat methamphetamine. Tribes were unintentionally left out as eligible program applicants in the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005.

‚''Meth use has a devastating impact on our communities and Indian country is no exception,‚'' Smith said. ‚''We are finally correcting the law to ensure Native American communities have full access to all the tools needed to fight the spread of meth.‚''

Last week, Senator Smith hosted the Fifth Annual Oregon Tribal Summit with tribal leaders from Oregon‚''s nine Indian Tribes and federal Indian Affairs officials. The issue of combating meth on reservations was raised as a top priority during the roundtable discussion.

In a recent Bureau of Indian Affairs survey, 70 percent of tribal law enforcement agencies indicated that meth is the greatest public safety threat to their reservation.

Senator Smith‚''s legislation guarantees tribes access to federal grant programs aimed at helping local law enforcement agencies and community service programs combat the spread of meth and reduce its devastating impact on the community and children.

The Native American Meth Enforcement and Treatment Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden and 12 colleagues, was added as an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2008, which is expected passed the U.S. Senate last night.

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