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(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $1 million in federal funding for the Washington State Methamphetamine Initiative in a critical Senate spending bill. The Washington State Methamphetamine Initiative (WSMI) is used by law enforcement, treatment and prevention groups to fight methamphetamine throughout Washington state. The WSMI funds activities in every county in Washington state. Senator Murray included the funding in the 2009 Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill. Senator Murray is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee.

"The Washington State Meth Initiative has had tremendous success using a comprehensive approach to fighting meth, but they need sustained federal support to keep their work going," said Senator Murray. "This funding will allow them to continue to engage in meth education, prevention, enforcement and treatment efforts that include everyone from law enforcement, to government, to health workers. By tearing down labs, rebuilding shattered lives, and teaching a new generation about the dangers of meth, the Washington State Meth Initiative has had a profound impact on our state's ability to combat the deadly drug."

The WSMI was organized in 1999 as a proactive approach by a coalition of concerned, public and private groups that work in conjunction with federal, state and local agencies. The program includes the following components:  intelligence, enforcement and prosecution, investigation and forensics, public health and ecology, professional training, community education and prevention, and family treatment services.

This funding Senator Murray has included in the CJS bill will be crucial in addressing new threats, including growing meth trafficking from Canada and a dramatic increase in crystal meth through Mexican cartels. WSMI will also be working to address a surge of illegal gang activity associated with local meth trafficking particularly in the areas of Yakima, Spokane, and the Tri-Cities as well as all counties along the I-5 corridor.

Senator Murray has secured nearly $17 million for the WSMI since 2001.

Read more about Senator Murray's work to fight meth.

The CJS Appropriations bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee and will now go to the full Senate for consideration.