ST. PAUL – Special license plates could do for methamphetamine treatment what Minnesota’s Critical Habitat Plates do for natural resources under a plan introduced today by State Representative Dean Urdahl.
At a St. Paul news conference, Urdahl announced a plan to sell special license plates with an anti-drug logo at a cost of $30, with the proceeds going to a chemical dependency fund run by the Minnesota Department of Health. The department will be responsible for donating the money to expand and improve existing methamphetamine treatment programs.
“The meth crisis is at the level where creating a special license plate to help fund treatment is fully justifiable,” Urdahl said. “We addressed prevention efforts earlier this year and now it is time to focus on treatment and rehabilitation.”
The logo imprinted on the plates will be chosen from designs submitted by Minnesota students through the Drug Abuse and Resistance Education program (DARE) and local schools. Former Supreme Court Justice Jim Gilbert, who works with DARE, said engaging students in the process re-enforces the dangers of methamphetamine addiction and gives them the sense that they are active in the fight against the drug.
“Bringing them into the process at an early age is key,” Gilbert said. “It gets them involved and begins what we hope will be a lifelong involvement in promoting a drug free lifestyle.”
Urdahl said he expects the plates will raise $1 to $2 million dollars. Part of the plan to show support for the plates is to begin a statewide petition drive that Urdahl believes will generate interest and ensure thousands of pledges to purchase the plates.