Local News Politics

From Dan Conti, Kentucky Public Radio

The deputy director of the Operation Unite anti-drug program says his officers are spending so much time cleaning up meth labs, there’s not much left for other drug interdiction efforts.

Dan Smoot says meth production is such a problem in southern and eastern Kentucky right now that police have virtually no time to slow the pill pipeline from Florida or curb cocaine trafficking.

“I took an oath to uphold, and serve and protect. I don’t have the tools to do that. I need pseudoephedrine to be scheduled,” he said.

Smoot testified recently before a Kentucky General Assembly committee. He says meth labs are increasing rapidly because pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient of methamphetamine, is available over-the-counter in Kentucky.

Operation Unite covers more than two dozen counties in southern and eastern Kentucky.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."