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[r68] Legislation aids in the fight against meth
Start Date: 3/26/2013 All Day
End Date: 3/26/2013
Entry Description

In 2012, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) gathered data regarding the nation’s meth epidemic. Shockingly, Indiana ranked 3rd highest for most reported incidents. Indiana is attributed with 1,429 of the 11,210 national meth related cases involving labs, dumpsites and chemical/glass/equipment.

These meth labs contain extremely hazardous materials that present a chronic health risk to those working or living close to these facilities. The DEA has determined that for every pound of meth produced, five or six pounds of highly reactive, flammable or corrosive chemical byproducts are created. This poses a serious risk to those left to deal with the cleanup of seized facilities as well as residents living nearby.

Understanding the major, negative impact meth has in Indiana, we must clearly identify a workable solution to resolve this situation without causing unintended consequences. According to the Department of Justice’s National Drug Threat Assessment conducted in 2011, Mexico is the primary source of meth consumed in the US. With a large amount of the meth-trade coming from outside the country, the question was posed; what measures can Indiana take in reducing the amount of meth related incidents?

In response to this question State Senator Carlin Yoder (R-Middlebury) authored Senate Bill (SB) 496, a bill that I have sponsored through the House. The bill passed through the House and Senate with bipartisan support and designates that ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, a critical ingredient to meth, may be sold only by a pharmacy or a retailer that uses the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) tracking system.

Used by law enforcement agencies, NPLEx allows them to monitor the amount of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine sold to individuals. This system permits law enforcement to ensure that these products are purchased reasonably, and has resulted in blocking the excessive sale of over 169,000 grams and 74,000 boxes sold from Jan-Aug in 2012. Currently, a consumer may purchase up to 86.4 grams per year but SB 496 reduces that number to 61.2 grams. This has been determined to be a reasonable annual amount by doctors and pharmacists for cold or sinus relief for Hoosier families. This bill then increases the difficulty for a person to create, harbor and traffic meth in Indiana while providing individuals with the ability to obtain the medicine they need.

Additionally, the bill prohibits a person convicted of certain meth related offenses from purchasing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine within seven years of their conviction unless they have a prescription – creating one more safety mechanism against meth production. Other facets of the bill aim to intensify the penalty for providing these substances to a meth manufacturer, in addition to increasing the penalty for anyone who causes a meth related fire or explosion resulting in bodily injury.

This bill is a good step in the fight against meth while still protecting those who are using a legitimate product within the parameters of the law. I was proud to Sponsor this bill which provides law enforcement officials and retailers with tools to reduce the number of meth related incidents while ensuring that responsible Hoosiers have access to the cold and allergy medicines they rely on.

As meth costs the US more than $23 billion a year and with over 1.4 million Americans using it this year, now is the time for Indiana to lead the charge in the fight against the production and distribution of this damaging drug.


Contact Information:
Name: Ben Gavelek
Phone: 317-234-9290
Attachments For This Entry:
    > Legislation aids in the fight against meth
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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