Press Releases

Talent-Feinstein Combat Meth Legislation Expected to
Pass Senate, Become Law

- Legislation restricts cold products with meth ingredients -

             Washington, DC U.S. Senators Jim Talent (R-Mo.) and Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) comprehensive anti-methamphetamine legislation is expected to be enacted into law soon following the Senate’s passage of the USA-Patriot Act Reauthorization bill.  The Talent-Feinstein Combat Meth Act, which is included in the Patriot Act, will restrict access to cold medications containing the primary ingredients used to make meth.  Strongly supported by law enforcement officials, the bipartisan Combat Meth Act is the toughest, most comprehensive anti-meth bill ever introduced in the Congress, much less passed. 

“This is a major victory for people in neighborhoods across Missouri and the country who are threatened by meth,” said Senator Talent.  “The impact of the Combat Meth Act will be immeasurable.  We may never know just how many lives, families and communities will be spared the horrors of methamphetamine owing to this legislation.  But we know that because of the steps we are taking, many Americans will never experience the addiction and destruction of this deadly drug.  The Senate should take great satisfaction in this accomplishment, but we need to continue working in a bipartisan fashion to help those who are threatened by the meth epidemic.” 

“Today is a bright new day in the fight against our nation’s meth epidemic.  After many months of hard work, the Senate today finally passed the Combat Meth Act,” Senator Feinstein said. “This is a major victory. It is the biggest breakthrough in combating the nationwide spread of methamphetamines in over a decade. All across the country cold medicines with pseudoephedrine will be placed behind the counter.  But the fight is not over.  This bill will not make the epidemic go away overnight, but it is still an important step.”

The heart of the anti-meth package is the Combat Meth Act which would restrict the sale of products necessary to cook meth. Law enforcement officials from around the country stressed that this step is critical to helping eliminate meth in our neighborhoods. The Talent-Feinstein legislation is modeled after the successful Oklahoma law which saw an immediate 80 percent decline in meth lab busts.

 

The Combat Meth Act is the toughest, most comprehensive anti-meth package ever considered by the Congress. The legislation restricts the sale of products containing ingredients needed to cook

meth, provides new tools to states, local law enforcement and prosecutors to combat meth and includes treatment funding to help those affected by meth.

 

Restricting the Sale of Ingredients to Cook Meth

 

  • Restricts and records the sale of medicines containing meth precursors including pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine.
  • Relocates these products behind the counter, requiring purchasers to show identification and sign a logbook.
  • Allows legitimate consumers to get the medicine they need, but limits how much one person can buy to 9 grams a month and 3.6 grams in a single day.
  • Creates a new DEA classification for meth precursors to imposes tougher penalties for meth cooks while allowing legitimate consumers to access the medicines they need without a prescription. 

Additional Components of the Anti-meth Package

 

  • Provide critical resources to local law enforcement and state and local governments – Provides an additional $99,000,000 per year for the next five years under the Meth Hot Spots program to train state and local law enforcement to investigate and lock-up meth offenders and expand funding available for personnel and equipment for enforcement, prosecution and environmental clean-up.
  • Enhance international enforcement of meth trafficking – Requires new reporting and certification procedures of the largest exporting and importing countries of pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, and PPA.
  • Provide services for children affected by the spread ofmeth – Provides $20,000,000 in grant funding in 2006 and 2007 for Drug Endangered Children rapid response teams to promote collaboration among federal, state, and local agencies to assist and educate children that have been affected by the production of methamphetamine.
  • Enhance environmental regulation of methamphetamine byproducts - Requires reports to congress on agency designations of by-products of meth labs as hazardous materials and waste.
  • Provide tools to prosecute meth cooks and traffickers - Enhance criminal penalties for meth production and trafficking.  

Methamphetamine is perhaps the most deadly, fiercely addictive and rapidly spreading drug the United States has known. During the past decade, while law enforcement officers continue to bust record numbers of clandestine labs, meth use in communities has increased by as much as 300 percent.  Meth is cheap, potent and available everywhere.

 

The goal of the Combat Meth Act is to provide legitimate consumers the access to the medicine they need, while cutting off the meth cooks from the ingredients they must have to cook meth. 

 

Following final passage of the USA-Patriot Act, the Talent-Feinstein Combat Meth legislation will go to the White House where it is expected to be signed into law by the President.

 

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