Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation stepping up the state's efforts to combat the production of illegal methamphetamine.
Abuse of illegal methamphetamine, known as meth for short, is on the rise nationally and in Michigan because it can be made by distilling decongestant ingredients easily found in common, over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines. Current efforts to prevent the sale of these legal medicines to people who use it to manufacture the illegal drug are insufficient.
Senate Bill 333, sponsored by state Sen. John Proos, requires electronic tracking of sales of products containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, which are the ingredients used to manufacture meth. Other states that have implemented electronic tracking systems report good success in blocking illegal sales of medicine that can be used to manufacture meth.
The electronic tracking system will be funded by companies that manufacture cold and allergy medicines at no cost to taxpayers or retailers.
S.B. 350, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Nofs, makes it illegal to use a fake ID to purchase products containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.
House Bills 4749 and 4750, both sponsored by state Rep. Amanda Price, prohibit a person from purchasing more than 3.6 grams of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine in a single day or more than 9 grams within 30 days. They also require retailers to keep products containing the drug in a locked case or behind a pharmacy counter and increase fines from $50 to $500 for retailers that violate the law.
The bills are now Public Acts 84, 85, 86 and 87 of 2011, respectively.
"Having an electronic tracking system that provides real-time data will give law enforcement the ability to better detect patterns and block sales to people who go from pharmacy to pharmacy buying up large quantities of cold and allergy medicine," the governor said. "This system makes sure people who legitimately need cold and allergy medicine can get it. At the same time, we will be able to make our communities safer by preventing people from being able to get the ingredients needed to manufacture meth."
The governor today also signed H.B. 4565, sponsored by state Rep. Sharon Tyler, which bans the hallucinogenic drug methylenedioxypyrovalerone, which goes by the street name "bath salt." The bill is now P.A. 88.