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The U.S. Conference of Mayors Announces National Methamphetamine Conference: January 26, 2000 in Washington, DC

By Ed Somers

Conference of Mayors President Wellington E. Webb of Denver has announced that a national conference on methamphetamine will be held on the front end of the 68th Winter Meeting of The U.S. Conference of Mayors. The methamphetamine conference will be held on Wednesday January 26, 2000 at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC.

Boise Mayor H. Brent Coles, Vice President of the Conference of Mayors, has championed the need for this special conference to focus on the rapidly emerging issue of methamphetamine in America, discuss the unique needs of smaller and mid-sized communities to deal with the crisis, and develop prevention, treatment and interdiction strategies for methamphetamine which can then be applied to cities of all sizes as the methamphetamine crisis spreads across the nation. Mayor Coles co-chairs the Conference of Mayors Drug Control Task Force along with Gary Mayor Scott King.

Mayor Coles hosted a major planning meeting in Boise on May 17-18, 1999 at which federal, state and local experts helped develop a research and implementation agenda related to methamphetamine.

In discussing the need for this effort, Mayor Coles has said, “for the first time, America is faced with a drug problem that is moving from smaller, more rural communities to the bigger cities.” Mayor Coles has stressed that this effort can help develop strategies for dealing with methamphetamine that will benefit cities of all sizes.

Methamphetamine is also unique in that it is being produced in America in small, clandestine labs which pose a serious environmental threat to local communities.

The Conference of Mayors is working on this initiative with the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA), led by Joseph A. Califano, Jr. CASA is helping to develop a national report on drug addiction in mid-sized cities and rural communities, with a particular focus on the emerging issue of methamphetamine. The report will be released at the January 26 conference by Mr. Califano and the Conference of Mayors.

Registration information for the special methamphetamine conference and the 68th Winter Meeting of The U.S. Conference of Mayors can be obtained by contacting Carol Edwards at (202) 293-7330.

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