Press Releases

Senate Approves Anti-Meth Legislation

- Bill would enforce retail compliance with the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act -

Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate has approved legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that would require retailers of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine products to verify that they have trained their staff in the requirements of the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act that went into effect in 2006.

        The next step in the fight against methamphetamine is to pass the Saving Kids from Dangerous Drugs Act – a bill pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Grassley is a co-sponsor of the legislation.

        Methamphetamine and other illegal drugs are being colored, packaged and flavored in ways designed to attract children and minors. Some are made to taste like chocolate, vanilla, banana and coconut. Others have child-friendly names like Strawberry Quick. Senator Feinstein’s legislation would enhance federal penalties to anyone who “manufactures, creates, distributes, or possesses with intent to distribute a controlled substance that is flavored, colored, packaged or otherwise altered in a way that is designed to make it more appealing to a person under 21 years of age, or who attempts or conspires to do so.”

        “We must send a strong and clear message to drug dealers – that if you target our children by peddling candy-flavored drugs, there will be a heavy price to pay,” Senator Feinstein said. “It’s all about hooking young people and we have to stop this practice before it grows any further.”

       The Combat Methamphetamine Enhancement Act, which passed the Senate by unanimous consent late Monday, closes a law loophole which allowed retailers to continue to sell products containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine without showing that their employees were complying with the law’s requirement. Pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, found in cold medicines, are ingredients commonly used to make methamphetamine.

        Law requires that cold medicines containing these ingredients be placed behind a pharmacy counter, requiring signature and proof of identification before purchase and limiting how much of these medicines a person can buy in a day or month.

        “This bill will require all retailers to certify that they are in compliance with the law,” Senator Feinstein said. “If they aren’t, they simply won’t be able to purchase pseudoephedrine products from distributors.”

        “Iowa has been hit harder than most rural states by the meth epidemic.  We’ve had success reducing the domestic meth supply following the passage of the 2006 Combat Meth Act, but it’s tough to stay a step ahead.  It’s important we continue to take tough action to keep this dangerous drug out of the hands of people across the country,” Senator Grassley said.

        The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Richard Durbin (D-Ill.); Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.);  Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.); Evan Bayh (D-Ind.); Jeff  Bingaman (D-N.M.); Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.); John Ensign (R-Nev.) Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.); Tim Johnson (D-S.D.); John Kerry (D-Mass.); Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.); Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.); Patty Murray (D-Wash.); Ben Nelson (D-Neb.);  and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.).