Senate approves Proos meth crackdown measure

LANSING – Legislation to hamper meth production by enforcing limits on the amount of the drug’s main ingredient an individual can purchase was approved unanimously Thursday by the Michigan Senate, said Sen. John Proos, sponsor of the reform package.

Methamphetamine, or meth, is an addictive, illegal drug that is commonly manufactured in homes using pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in cold medications.

“This powerfully-addictive drug has devastated communities nationwide, but it has hit especially hard in southwest and south central Michigan,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The safest and surest way to protect our children and communities from the harmful impacts of meth is to stop a producer’s access to supplies. My bill would have Michigan join more than a dozen other states, including Indiana, in using an online system that has a proven record in stopping illegal purchases.”

Proos’ measure, Senate Bill 333, would require retailers or pharmacies to consult an online system before selling products containing pseudoephedrine to make sure that the buyer has not exceeded a set limit. Although the clerk will not have access to a customer’s personal information- as with the current system- law enforcement will have the ability to monitor this activity.  A companion reform, House Bill 4564, would enact a limit on the amount of pseudoephedrine a person can buy and require that the buyer show a valid ID.

The National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx), is a real-time electronic logging system – provided at no cost taxpayers or retailers will be used only by law enforcement to track sales of over-the-counter cold and allergy medications containing precursors to methamphetamine.

“We currently have laws addressing this ingredient, but nothing to enforce them and prevent meth manufacturers from going from store to store buying supplies,” Proos said. “This reform would change that, stopping meth producers, while still allowing people to get the cold medicine they need. I thank my Senate colleagues for their support and look forward to working with the House to enact this vital reform.”

SBs 333 and 350 now head to the House for consideration.