~ Workshop offers education on growing threat of illegal drugs ~
TALLAHASSEE, FL – LAWFUEL – Attorney General Bill McCollum and Colonel Bill Janes, Director of the Florida Office of Drug Control, today hosted a presentation before the Governor and Cabinet on the current state of the drug trade in Florida. The workshop was designed to provide Florida’s leaders with the latest information and insight into the growing threat of illegal drugs, new trends, and the significance of drug quantities seen in the state today.
“The information showing the magnitude of today’s drug crimes is eye-opening and disturbing,” said Attorney General Bill McCollum. “As members of the Florida Board of Executive Clemency, the Governor and the Florida Cabinet routinely make difficult decisions affecting the futures of former felons who were convicted of drug crimes. It is critically important to have the latest information on the significant changes seen in today’s criminal drug trade as we weigh these serious considerations.”
An important focus of today’s presentation was on the growth of hydroponic marijuana and the increase in the drug’s potency, as well as the phenomenal spread of commercial marijuana grow houses. Presenters also addressed the explosion of prescription medications in the illegal drug market, types and quantities of drugs reaching Florida, crimes connected with drugs, challenges facing local law enforcement, and inter-agency cooperation among other topics.
“Drug trafficking in Florida has been increasing and is often backed by international drug trafficking organizations. New initiatives such as the intelligence fusion center being implemented by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and a comprehensive, integrated statewide drug threat assessment are vital steps in enhancing our state and regional responses,”
said Colonel Janes, Florida’s Drug Czar and the Director of the Florida Office of Drug Control. “I appreciate the opportunity to participate with Attorney General McCollum in organizing this presentation. The Office of Drug Control will continue to work with our law enforcement, prevention, and treatment partners to protect our youth, reduce supply, reduce demand and protect Floridians from the devastation of substance abuse.”
Authorities including state and local law enforcement have voiced strong opinions that the illegal drug trade is not only growing in the state of Florida, but that it is also being used more frequently to fund other more dangerous activities such as violent and organized gangs throughout the state. Presenters at today’s workshop included Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey, Highlands County Sheriff Susan Benton, and Sgt. John Blanchard and Sgt. Brady Myers with the Florida Narcotic Officers Association.