MADISON, Wis. — The Latest on Attorney General Brad Schimel’s presentation to lawmakers on methamphetamine (all times local):
Attorney General Brad Schimel is warning legislators that methamphetamine use has quietly surged in Wisconsin and now presents as serious a threat as opioids.
Schimel made the remarks during a presentation Thursday to the Legislature’s criminal justice committees on methamphetamine. He said that state laws making access to methamphetamine ingredients have made it harder to operate local labs but Mexican drug cartels are now producing most of the meth for sale in Wisconsin. He said the Mexican-produced meth is more potent, more addictive and cheaper.
He praised police and policy makers for battling opioids but implored them to turn their attention to meth.
FBI agents also are expected to address the committees.
State and federal law enforcement officials are set to brief the Legislature’s criminal justice committees on a rise in methamphetamine use in Wisconsin.
The state Department of Justice, Milwaukee police and the FBI released a report in November that found methamphetamine use in the state grew between 250 and 300 percent from 2011 to 2015. The report said western Wisconsin and rural areas are seeing the most use.
The report predicts the state will continue to see growth in methamphetamine use over the next decade because rising amounts of high-grade, high-potency methamphetamine will keep prices low.
The Assembly’s criminal justice committee and the Senate’s judiciary committee will hear from Attorney General Brad Schimel and Justin Tolomeo, special agent-in-charge of the FBI’s Milwaukee office, during a hearing Thursday.