John Dowdy, Director, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics speaks at Rotary Club of Jackson



Monday, June 11, 2018


Brooks Buchanan, Rotary president and assistant general council, C Spire, called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.  The invocation was given, the pledge of allegiance and four-way test were recited and the many guests and visiting Rotarians were welcomed.

Becky White, marketing director at Haddox Reid, attended the District Rotary conference this past weekend.  She encouraged everyone to attend District conference next year.  She brought back three awards which she announced:
-Mr. and Mrs. Brooks Buchanan – for outstanding service by hosting a wine and cheese social to promote the District Foundation and its goal of world understanding and peace.
-DDG Amanda Fontaine, executive director of the Mississippi Burn Foundation, for serving on the District Foundation Board.
-Mark Fields, Woodmark Investments LLC, for serving on the District Foundation Board.

Buchanan announced Neddie Winters would like everyone to fill out the Committee preference sheets. A Committee description sheet is attached to this Rotagram and may be filled out and emailed to Carol at  Or you may just email Carol to let her know of your preferences.  Please sign up this year, even if you served on committees last year.

Jim Rosenblatt, Mississippi College School of Law, introduced our speaker, saying there was no better person to lead the war on drugs than John Dowdy, director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. Dowdy said God has blessed him with an incredible career.  Even with his years of experience dealing with criminals, there is no way to understand the criminal mind.  Many people who are dealing narcotics on the street are driven by money.  However, another element of our society has a disease which is addiction. Even though this problem is escalating, the legislature keeps cutting their budget.  While there are at least two game wardens in each Mississippi county, he has only 70 investigators.  Ideally, he needs 164 investigators which would give him two in every county.  They handle every kind of narcotics imaginable – heroin and meth amphetamines – and the Bureau of Narcotics is the only agency that can clean up meth labs.  The year before the legislature passed a law requiring Sudafed to be sold only by prescription rather than over the counter, we had 724 active meth labs in Mississippi.  Last year we had none.  However, they are now coming in from Mexico.  They just cleaned up a field of marijuana in Jefferson Davis County which was worth $21M.  However, it is now imported from states where it is legal. He said it would cause a ruination of our country if marijuana is legalized, as the marijuana today is much more potent than that of years ago, making it highly addictive.  Cocaine is coming into Mississippi from South America. 

Jail is not the proper place for addicts. We must hammer down on hard-core drug traffickers who are in it for the money.  Opioids are the deadliest epidemic.  They are prescription pain killers that are being overprescribed these days.  When addicts cannot get them, they use heroin.  In 2016, 67,265 Americans died from accidental drug overdoses, the equivalent of a 747 crashing every two days.  Fentanyl is a new drug which is legitimate for anesthesiologists to use as a liquid in surgery and for patches in hospice.  It is manufactured in China and, on the street, is a white powdery substance like cocaine.  It is 1,000 more powerful than morphine.  Some who are trying to buy oxycodone on the street actually unsuspectingly buy fentanyl instead, which is much more powerful. 

What can we do?  Go home and get rid of all unused prescription medicines.  How?  Do not flush them down the toilet or dissolve them in water.  They can go into the water system.  Take them to any of the police precincts in Jackson or to the highway patrol and put them in their special collection boxes so they can be incinerated.  This will keep children from stealing one or two at a time and getting together with their friends to take them to see what happens, an increasingly common practice.  They steal them from unsuspecting parents and grandparents. 

Dowdy is privileged to work for the Bureau of Narcotics.  He wants to make a difference.  We need a deterrent for drug dealers in our community and treatment for drug users.  We can make a change. We can overcome this problem.