Crystal Meth Summit in Canada wants drug re-classified

Crystal meth, a powerful addictive drug has now become such a problem in Canada that law enforcement officials met in Regina last week for a Crystal Meth Summit.

Saskatchewan Premiere Lorne Calvert said as a result of the meeting that she beleived real progress could be made.

Crystal meth has swept across the western United States, and is now the problem has spread to Canada's western provinces.

Policy makers are saying that the drug should be re-classified and put into the same category as cocaine and heroin.

At present Crystal meth is classified as a category 3 drug, while cannabis is category 2 and heroin is category 1. The maximum penalty for a category 1 offence is life imprisonment.

There are currently very few programs that users can enter in order to break their addiction, and an increased classification might mean more treatment programs for addicts by raising awareness of the drug.

Drug worker Steve Paulson, who works for Teen Challenge, an organization that helps youths with drug addiction problems says youngsters are dying while they wait to access recovery programs.

Crystal meth's popularity is attributed to the ease with which it can be made. The chemicals can be found in any drug store, and the main ingredient is in cold medicines.

The government has proposed stricter controls for such chemicals, adding six specific chemicals that would require a license to produce and distribute.

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