Senator Gordner Joins Colleagues and Attorney General to Fight Methamphetamine

(HARRISBURG) – – Seeking to stop the production of methamphetamine, Senator John R. Gordner joined several of his Senate colleagues and Attorney General Tom Corbett today to announce a comprehensive package of bills to address a growing drug problem in Pennsylvania.

The seven bills, known as the “Pennsylvania Combat Meth Initiative”, will make it more difficult to obtain the ingredients necessary to make methamphetamine, add new protections for children and clean up the environmental damage caused by meth labs.

Senator Gordner and Attorney General Corbett were joined at a news conference to unveil the legislation today by the other bills’ sponsors, including Senator Roger Madigan (R-Bradford), Senator Bob Robbins (R-Mercer) and Senator Rob Wonderling (R-Montgomery).

Senator Gordner’s Senate Bill 1119 provides for defendants to be assessed the environmental clean-up costs associated with methamphetamine laboratories.

“Meth labs are environmental disasters just waiting to happen because ingredients in meth production can cause explosions, chemical fires and toxic releases,” said the Senator.  “We need the tools to shut down these labs and make the criminals who operate them pay for the environmental clean up costs.”

Senator Gordner also has introduced Senate Bill 1117, providing for the offense of operating a methamphetamine laboratory and increasing the penalties if the lab is operated near a school or a playground.  He has also introduced Senate Bill 1118, providing for penalties for possessing the ingredients used to manufacture methamphetamine.

In addition to Senator Gordner’s legislation, the Pennsylvania Combat Meth Initiative includes the following measures:

  • Limit the sale of pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in many over-the-counter cold medicines. Consumers would be limited to purchasing nine grams per transaction. The bill also makes it an offense to knowingly possess ephedrine with the intent to unlawfully manufacture methamphetamine.  (Senate Bill 1116, Senator Wonderling)
  • Add the definition of “precursor substance” to the Controlled Substance Act.  This would allow the Secretary of Health to add additional chemicals to the current list of controlled substances by regulation if they are found to be used in the production of drugs. (Senate Bill 1115, Senator Madigan)
  • Make it a misdemeanor for a parent or guardian to knowingly operate a methamphetamine laboratory in the vicinity of a child. (Senate Bill 1120, Senator Robbins
  • Creates “Methwatch”, a cooperative program between the Attorney General’s Office and retailers to educate and provide warnings regarding methamphetamine and the common ingredients used to make it. (Senate Bill 1121, Senator Robbins)

The package of legislation was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which expects to consider the bills in the near future.

Editors and News Directors:  Audio, video and photographs from the news conference are available at www.pasenategop.com