Tulsa DA Makes Passionate Plea To Stop Meth Lab Problem

Tuesday, April 26th 2011, 6:15 pm
By: News On 6

Lori Fullbright, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa County DA Tim Harris says the meth epidemic is costing our state millions and ruining lives. Yet there's an easy way to stop it.

But he says the pharmaceutical lobby got to our legislators, so they refused to even hear a bill that could stop meth labs and slash crime.

Harris gave his presentation to the Tulsa City Council and says he'll give it to every Rotary group, Lion's Club, civic and church group he can, just to get out the message about how insidious meth is for all of us.

"I have seen a lot in my 27 years but nothing as insidious as meth," he told City Council.

Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris says it's a joke to think companies will bring new business to Tulsa when it's known as the meth lab capitol of the U.S.

He says there's no part of town immune from meth and its dangers. He showed a meth fires in South Tulsa, one at a Tulsa strip mall, and a meth fire at a retirement home that left one innocent person brain damaged and killed two others.

"Those two innocent people lived next door and burned to death in their beds because a meth fire broke out. How do we tell them we're not going to do anything about it," Harris said.

He used a training video to show how explosive the one pot or pop bottle method of cooking meth can be.

"Here you are, this is the meth lab with the lithium at the top, give it a little shake and it falls over, boom, just like that," Harris said, as he showed graphic pictures of the devastating burns people can get because they can't escape the flames quickly enough.

He wants Oklahoma legislators to pass a law that makes pseudoephedrine a prescription drug like Oregon and Mississippi.

"Oregon stepped out in 2006 and made it a prescription drug. By 2009, Oregon's crime rate dropped to a 50 year low," he said.

He says legislators in the House wouldn't even give the bill a hearing, and he says the pharmaceutical companies are laughing all the way to the bank.

He says meth addiction wouldn't disappear but it would largely move out of our state away from our citizens.

"We can send them to Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico. I don't care where we send them, but get em out of Oklahoma," he said.

Harris wants to hold a meth summit to educate people just how bad the problem is and force legislators to do something.

The lawmakers who killed the bill tell us they don't think it's fair to make law abiding citizens get a prescription for their cold and allergy medicines.

Harris says there are more than 100 other products people can use that cannot be used to make meth.

Listed below are meth lab stats in Tulsa:

  • 2008 - 43
  • 2009 - 315
  • 2010 - 323
  • 2011(through April 25th) - 132