Governor Ernie Fletcher's Communications office
Governor Fletcher Unveils Extensive Initiative to Combat Substance Abuse

Press Release Date:  Thursday, February 01, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker
Communications Director


Governor Ernie Fletcher(FRANKFORT, KY)  Governor Ernie Fletcher today announced an aggressive substance-abuse initiative involving a balance of law enforcement, treatment and prevention-education.  The Governor has proposed a broad range of legislation and substance-abuse plans which will continue to tackle the drug problem in Kentucky.

“Removing drugs from our communities is one of the top priorities of our administration,” said Governor Fletcher.  “Drug trafficking is one of the greatest concerns of our citizens.  I will continue to support and exhaust all efforts to make considerable strides to become a model for other states in this effort.  We will not tolerate illegal use of drugs in the Commonwealth.”

“In the past, people in drug prevention, treatment and law enforcement did not communicate and work together.  Now, Kentucky has a balanced attack which has begun to reduce the drug trafficking and substance abuse,” said Sen. Robert Stivers (R-Manchester).  “These important initiatives will allow us to continue the cooperation and coordination between federal, state and local agencies and share drug and national security intelligence to make a larger impact on violent crime and the availability of illegal drugs in Kentucky.”

“I want to implement a more aggressive and effective response to the drug problem in Kentucky, and one way to do this is by allowing nonviolent drug offenders to receive treatment before they hit the prison door,” said Sen. Dan Kelly (R-Springfield), the Senate majority floor leader.  “Senate Bill 34 will provide an emphasis on treatment and diversion instead of incarceration, which is part of the overall movement and attitude this administration has taken.  We owe it to our citizens.”

“With additional resources, the Drug Interdiction plan can make a difference in intercepting drugs, apprehending those who traffic, and keeping a significant volume of drugs from reaching our citizens and being transported through our state,” said Gen. Norman E. Arflack, secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.  “Expanded financial support, additional staffing, training and equipment will make an even bigger impact on removing drugs on highways and from common carriers.”

The Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Office of Attorney General also have worked together to enhance Internet pharmacy legislation.  The practice of distributing dangerous narcotics over the Internet has become a nationwide problem.  Kentucky was one of the first states to address the issue with the passage of Senate Bill 63 in 2005.  This legislation was an excellent start at dealing with the problem, however improvements are needed.

“The Internet has a dark side,” said Attorney General Greg Stumbo. “We have learned this lesson well as we develop rapid responses to emerging criminal threats.  This enhanced Internet Pharmacy legislation advances our shared goal to protect Kentuckians from these threats and the ravages of drug abuse.”

The substance abuse initiative will include:

drug interdiction plan
asset forfeiture revisions (sponsored by Senator Stivers)
secret compartment legislation (sponsored by Senator Stivers)
pre-trial drug diversion bill (sponsored by Senator Kelly)
enhanced Internet pharmacy legislation (sponsored by Senator Stivers)
electronic monitoring of pseudoephedrine purchases (sponsored by Senator Stivers)