State Sen. Carlin Yoder (R-Middlebury) announced he has authored legislation that would arm law enforcement officials and retailers with new tools to combat methamphetamine crime around the state.
Senate Bill 496, which will be heard in the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law on Jan. 22, will strengthen current anti-meth laws and:
· Allow ephedrine/pseudo-ephedrine to be sold only at pharmacies.
· Prohibit anyone convicted of a meth-related crime from possessing ephedrine/pseudo-ephedrine without a prescription for seven years.
· Require the Indiana State Police to maintain a registry of people convicted of manufacturing meth.
· Increase the criminal penalty for a person who buys more than 10 grams of certain meth ingredients – including ephedrine/pseudoephedrine – with the intent to give them to another person for meth making.
· Create a legal limit for how much ephedrine/pseudo-ephedrine a person can buy in a one-year period. (Indiana law already contains one-day and 30-day limits.)
“I recognize that we still have a long way to go before we can declare victory in the battle against meth,” Yoder said. “Senate Bill 496 will help our men and women in law enforcement uncover more meth labs, make more arrests and help retailers block attempted illegal purchases of pseudoephedrine products.”
The bill complements the state’s real-time, stop-sale technology known as the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx), which was developed from a bill (SB 503) Yoder authored in 2011.
SB 496 is an alternative to the prescription-requirement approach favored by some state and local lawmakers.
“A prescription requirement would force an individual to take time off work, make a doctor’s appointment, and drive to the pharmacy to purchase common cold medicines,” Yoder stated. “This bill is intended to fight meth in Indiana without going down that route. State leaders need to give law enforcement every tool possible to aggressively target the meth problem without costing innocent Hoosiers extra time and money to get medicine they legitimately need.”