Senator Gordner’s Bills to Combat Methamphetamine Pass Senate Along With Other Legislation in Package

 

(HARRISBURG) – – Three bills sponsored by Senator John R. Gordner (R-Columbia) to combat the methamphetamine drug problem in Pennsylvania today passed in the state Senate as part of a comprehensive seven bill package.

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 Tom Corbett unveiled the legislation in March, along with 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 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 Senate unanimously passed Senate Bills 1115 through 1120 today and will consider Senate Bill 1121 in the next several days.  The package of legislation now moves to the House of Representatives.