November 14, 2007

CRAPO CO-SPONSORS BILL CLOSING METH LOOPHOLE

Bipartisan effort restricts access to ingredients to make methamphetamine

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo is co-sponsoring a new bill closing an existing loophole in federal legislation that restricts access to drugs used in the manufacture of illegal methamphetamine. Crapo, who requested more federal help in the fight against meth last month on the Senate floor, says some retailers are avoiding compliance with federal laws that restrict the sale of the ingredients used to produce meth. He is co-sponsoring S. 2071, the Combat Methamphetamine Enhancement Act, introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Jon Kyl (R-Arizona).

"Awareness efforts like the Idaho Meth Project and law enforcement efforts by police and drug agents will surely fail unless we stop meth at the source," Crapo said. "While the vast majority of retailers are on board with efforts to restrict access to the ingredients of meth, not all are in compliance. This law addresses the compliance issue with those few retailers."

Crapo, as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, heard testimony from federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials that some retailers are failing to comply with reporting standards concerning the sale of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine. The DEA has placed restrictions on the sale of the over-the-counter ingredients because they can be used to produce meth.

The new legislation tightens reporting standards by requiring that distributors of these products sell only to retailers who comply with those standards. It also requires retailers to restrict mail-orders of the drugs and certify that their employees are aware of and comply with the federal laws governing such sales.

"We must be aggressive at the source of meth, whether it is coming across the border or being manufactured in a neighborhood meth lab," Crapo added. "Keeping it off the streets and away from Americans is an essential ingredient in the war against meth abuse."