Thursday, June 12, 2014

Michigan House passes bill making it harder to purchase ingredients to manufacture meth

Michigan lawmakers are taking steps to make it more difficult for illegal drug manufacturers to purchase over-the-counter drugs used to make methamphetamine, a problem that mostly affects the state's rural areas, Emma Fidel reports for The Associated Press. The House last week passed 105-3 a bill to create a meth offender database that "requires Michigan State Police to report meth convictions to a national database that tracks real-time pharmacy sales of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine," the main ingredient in meth.

Under the law, "An alert is generated if someone buys more than 3.6 grams in a day or more than 9 grams in 30 days," Fidel writes. "With the new act in place, the system would also alert a pharmacist if a person trying to buy the drugs has had a meth-related conviction in the past 10 years. People with records could only buy the medicine with a prescription."

Michigan is one of 29 states that use the database to track ephedrine or pseudoephedrine sales. But if the bill passes the Senate and is signed into law by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan would become the sixth state, along with Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Alabama and Illinois, to have stop-sale measures in place for people with meth convictions, Fidel writes.

The House bill "also makes it a felony punishable by up to five years in prison or a $5,000 fine to buy or possess any ephedrine or pseudoephedrine knowing that it will be used to make meth," Fidel writes. "It makes soliciting people to buy those drugs—smurfing—up to a 10-year felony or a $10,000 fine." (Read more)

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