Posted on September 15, 2005
ALEXANDER APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION TO COMBAT METHAMPHETAMINE PRODUCTION WASHIINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today praised passage of provisions in the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Act of 2006 designed to combat the manufacture and use of methamphetamine (meth) by limiting access to the primary chemical used in its production. “This legislation takes aim at the biggest problem faced by law enforcement in dealing with meth – choking off the supply of essential materials needed to manufacture the drug,” said Alexander. “Meth is of particular concern to Tennessee because our state has been plagued by a growing number of meth labs, the ad hoc laboratories that can be located just about anywhere you can cram in a supply of hot plates, glassware and the noxious chemicals necessary to make meth.” The amendment approved by the Senate, authored by Sens. Jim Talent (R-MO) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), does the following: ·Moves cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, the primary chemical used in the production of methamphetamine, behind the counter in pharmacies and limits how much one person can buy to 7.5 grams a month; ·Requires signature and identification for purchases; ·Authorizes $43 million for enforcement, training and research into treatment, and; ·Does not undermine the laws of states, like Tennessee, that have taken steps at their level to combat meth production. “The Talent-Feinstein Amendment is a critical step in dealing with the meth problem and part of a comprehensive strategy to combat this addictive drug,” Alexander said. “The problems presented by meth are myriad, and many are unique, and we will continue to explore ways to address this scourge.” In 2004, Tennessee ranked second in the nation in the number of meth lab seizures, according to data from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The Drug Enforcement Agency calculates that Tennessee accounts for 75 percent of the meth lab seizures in the Southeast.