- Cullman, Alabama

December 19, 2012

EDITORIAL: Denting the meth trade

The Cullman Times

— Are you shocked that local law enforcement officers can arrest 80 or 100 people in a single roundup of drug peddlers and users?

Don’t let the news and the large amount of faces staring back at you in the paper burst your bubble about the goodness of Cullman County. Every county across the state and nation has its share of drug problems, and there’s no indication that the drug culture is scaling back.

The legalization of marijuana in several states is alarming to many Americans, celebrated by others, and may well be an issue faced by every state in the not-so-distant-future. While legalized marijuana creates a great deal of concern, the drugs that are illegal, and those that are legal but misused, raise even greater worries.

Methamphetamine stands as the largest wart in many communities, and Cullman County is no exception. The drug’s highly addictive and destructive qualities ruins countless lives day by day across otherwise pleasant communities.

The glimmer of hope showing in Cullman County is that the aggressive approach of local law enforcement officials is apparently making a dent in the meth problem. The primary indicator that something good is happening rests in the fact that the number of complaints received by local authorities is decreasing. This news comes after hundreds of arrests of residents who have been manufacturing the vile drug, as well as many users.

The arrests give the community and the abusers a chance for a better day. The options of incarceration and the county judicial system’s drug court program make enforcement meaningful in Cullman County.

After careful evaluation, some of those accused of dabbling in the meth trade can go through the carefully monitored drug court program and come out with a new lease on life. Others receive jail time. Both approaches can be effective, which means Cullman County has an opportunity to seriously curb the drug trade.

While the news that so many people are involved with meth and other drugs is unpleasant, the fact that law enforcement is aggressively acting on tips from law-abiding citizens and making arrests should be appreciated by everyone who values their community.