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Gov. Perry Signs Legislation to Reduce Methamphetamine Production, Use

Location: Austin, TX

Gov. Perry Signs Legislation to Reduce Methamphetamine Production, Use

Gov. Rick Perry today signed two pieces of legislation aimed at reducing methamphetamine use and production in Texas.

"Methamphetamine is spreading like a plague across Texas, endangering thousands of lives and the safety of our neighborhoods," Perry said. "These new laws will make it harder for drug dealers to poison our citizens, empower Texans to take a more active role in combating meth use and protect innocent children exposed to this dangerous drug."

Under House Bill 164 by Rep. Leo Berman:

* Non-pharmacy retailers must receive state certification to sell solid-form pseudoephedrine, an ingredient found in cold
remedies commonly used to make the drug.
* Retailers must limit access to products containing pseudoephedrine by placing them behind a pharmacy counter or in a
locked case, and limit each purchase to no more than six grams or two packages.
* Individuals buying pseudoephedrine or similar products must be at least 16, display identification and sign for the purchase.
* Protective service workers have the authority to immediately remove a child from a meth lab.

Senate Bill 66, by Sen. Jane Nelson, will:

* Establish a Drug-Endangered Child Initiative to protect children who are exposed to the deadly chemicals used to make
* Establish a new Methamphetamine Watch Program to inform retailers of the problems associated with meth production.
* Create prevention programs in public and private schools, and educate teachers and parents on ways to identify and help
children who have been exposed to or use the drug.
* Distribute educational materials to members of the agriculture industry regarding the use of anhydrous ammonia, a fertilizer
often used to cook meth.

According to the Department of Public Safety, meth lab seizures have quadrupled in recent years. The number of meth users entering treatment centers in Texas has increased from 1,800 in 2000 to 11,200 last year - a six-fold increase.

In 2004, Gov. Perry provided a $50,000 grant to help 26 counties in East Texas combat a growing methamphetamine problem by implementing a program to help retailers restrict access to meth ingredients and educate citizens on the signs of meth production and use.

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