In 2005, Newsweek called the "epidemic" of methamphetamine use "America's new drug crisis." A year earlier, a New York State Police captain described meth to the New York Times as making "crack look like child's play."
There has been a push lately in Chicago and across the country to liberalize drug laws. Proponents of this outlook argue that drug addicts can be much better served by treating drug use as a public health issue instead of as a crime. Furthermore, they argue that shifting resources away from incarcerating drug users will save a significant amount of money for state and local governments already struggling with tight budgets.