Missouri will finish the year as one of the nation’s leaders in drunken boating arrests, again. But something else is causing increasing concern. The Coast Guard says Missouri led the nation last year with 480 BWI arrests…The state water patrol has made 415 arrests so far this year…But patrol sergeant Ralph Bledsoe says drug arrests are up. Missouri’s Water Patrol has made 1380 drug arrests so far this year. Last year the patrol made 1208 drug arrests. Bledsoe says the change in numbers is at least partly a reflection of a shift of manpower away from the Lake of the Ozarks, where drunken boating happens in good numbers…to float streams..where drug use is more dominant. He says officers have seen changes in the kinds of drugs used. He says marijuana has made a “huge” comeback. But he says the drug officers are seeing more and more frequently is methamphetamine. Bledsoe says officers have to be more covert in their surveillance on float streams to catch drug-users. He says officers who see people sharing a cigarette can be pretty sure there’s marijuana involved.
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