Marshall County Drug and Tobacco Group continuing efforts

PLYMOUTH - The Marshall County Committee for Drug & Tobacco Free Indiana met Tuesday morning to catch up on recent happenings in Plymouth Public Library’s Laramore B room.

During the meeting, committee members shared information about incidents occuring in their communities.

Law enforcement was given the opportunity to update the group on current drug issues. Chairperson Bridget Hite mentioned not much has changed, with the same substances being involved but appearing to be more prevalent.

Robert Ross, Triton Vice Principal, mentioned a recent experience he had with a student. The student informed Ross he could pass any drug test as he sprayed leaves with different chemicals before smoking the plants.

Linda Molenda ,Coordinator for Fulton County drug free initiative mentioned hearing about a juvenile in her area taking 30 doses of a common diarhetic relief medication to get high.

Abby Caswell talked about an incident in Bourbon where illegal synthetic drugs were distributed to a couple of businesses with a business card indicating the drugs were legal.

In other discussioon:
• Marshall County coordinator Valerie Hite reported the approval of appropriations and presented the proposed 2014 budget of $75,000 to the Marshall County Council. She anticipated more money will be available for grants in 2014.

• Speaker David Parnell was discussed. A recovering meth addict, Parnell has been selected to speak to several area high schools.

He will be paid a speaking fee of $500 per appearance. The committee approved an additional $1,000 for his stay in the area.

Parnell’s speaking dates were discussed as only five schools from Marshall County have committed. Bremen, Argos, LaVille, Plymouth, and Culver high schools. Wednesday, Oct. 23. Parnell will speak at Cristos Banquet Hall at 6:30p.m., open to all. Friday, Oct. 25 and Wednesday, Oct. 30 remain open.

• The organization is still looking for volunteers to walk in the Blueberry Festival Parade. As many members are part of other organizations, the LLC is looking for volunteers of all ages to walk in the parade.

• An additional appropriations of Drug Community funds was $3,500.
How the $75,000 budget would be spent was also talked about by committee members. Funding is distributed in four main categories: criminal justice, treatment, education/prevention, and administrative.

• On Sept. 24, grant applications will begin being accepted and are due by 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31.

The next meeting will be at 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24.

(This article was published in the Aug. 28 print and e-editions of the Pilot News.)