September 8, 2005

Senator Talent Outlines Anti-Meth Legislation at Memphis Meeting

United States Senator Jim Talent (R-MO) visited Memphis on September 1 to outline his comprehensive anti-meth bill to limit access to cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, the primary ingredient used to make methamphetamine.

The senator met with local law enforcement officials at the Scotland County Court House to discuss the legislation.

“Our bill would strengthen anti-meth laws passed in other states and apply the toughest standard in the country to restrict sales of products with pseudoephedrine so we can finally get ahead of the meth cooks and keep this terrible drug ourt of our neighborhoods and schools,” Senator Talent said.

In July, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the legislation, which is modeled after the successful Oklahoma law that resulted in an immediate 80 percent drop in meth labs seized. The bill is sponsored by Talent and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). The senators are working to bring the legislation before the full Senate this fall.

Senators Talent and Feinstein began working with law enforcement officials, retailers and consumers in January to create the Combat Meth Act, which would move cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine behind the pharmacy counter and limit how much one person can buy to 7.5 grams a month.

The bill:

• Moves cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine behind the counter – amends the Controlled Substances Act to appropriately limit the sale of medicines containing pseudoephedrine by placing them behind the counter and sets a limit on how much of such medicines one person can buy in a month – 7.5 grams.

• Requires signature and identification for purchases – The Attorney General will develop regulations to ensure uniformity.

• Creates alternate procedures for stores without pharmacies and stores in rural areas – The Drug Enforcement Administration and States will develop regulations to continue to allow cold medicine to be sold at retail stores without pharmacies and in rural areas (but which meet appropriate security criteria), consistent with the intent of the bill to limit access to pseudoephedrine.

• Creates an airport exemption – Allows retail facilities located within a commercial airport to sell cold medicine with pseudoephedrine (in liquid form or gel caps) in single packages containing no more than 360 milligrams in a 24-hour period and requires them to follow the log book procedures established by the bill.

• Establishes a uniform federal standard that strengthens all existing state laws.

• Creates a national Meth treatment center – to research effective treatments for Meth abuse.

• Authorizes $43 million for enforcement, training, and research into treatment. This includes: $25,000,000 for local law enforcement and federal prosecutors to bring meth manufacturers and dealers to justice; $13,000,000 for meth treatment and research; $5,000,000 to help children who have been affected by meth.

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