Fighting meth high priority in 2013

Posted: 11th June 2012 by Doc in Uncategorized
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At least two Shoals state lawmakers plan to reintroduce bills in 2013 they hope will deter methamphetamine production. The bills didn’t pass in the 2012 regular legislative session.

Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, said he wants to reintroduce a bill that would punish meth makers for breaking into dwellings to produce the drug or for doing it in a rented home or hotel room. Because of the chemicals used, Greer said it can cost thousands of dollars to clean up meth labs.

“No one is going to cook meth in their own house,” Greer said last week. “They are going to rent or trespass.”

Greer’s bill would provide a mandatory 25-year prison sentence for the manufacture of methamphetamine on rented property and would require the person convicted of operating the lab to pay all reasonable costs to clean the site.

Greer and state Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, also had companion bills during the 2012 session, which ended in May, that would require prescriptions to obtain cold medicines containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, which are ingredients for making meth.

Bedford said last week that he plans to reintroduce that bill.

“Crystal meth is an epidemic that affects all 67 counties,” Bedford said.
“I realize that (ending over-the-counter sales of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine) may inconvenience some people, but I think it will be worth it to make our cities safer.”

This session, the Legislature did pass a bill that limits the sale of medicine with ephedrine and pseudoephedrine to pharmacies. They will no longer be sold in grocery stores and other retail stores that don’t include pharmacies. Purchasers will have to show a state-issued ID, military ID or passport.

When that bill was brought up in the Senate, Bedford tried to replace it with his more-restrictive bill. That motion didn’t receive support.


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