Senate Bill 63 will help fight meth epidemic sweeping across Kentucky
Frankfort, KY - Governor Ernie Fletcher's plan to crack down on the manufacturing and illegal use of methamphetamine cleared a major hurdle today. The House of Representatives unanimously approved Senate Bill 63, which would make it more difficult for criminals to acquire the key ingredient of pseudoephedrine needed to make meth.
"I commend all legislators for realizing the urgent need for tougher laws on the production of this devastating drug," said Governor Ernie Fletcher. "By passing Senate Bill 63, we will be protecting Kentucky's most vulnerable, our children, from the dangers of methamphetamine."
The bill also requires Internet pharmacies to register with the state pharmacy board and be monitored by the KASPER system that tracks prescription drug purchases in Kentucky.
"The House of Representatives today sent a strong message to drug offenders today by passing this important legislation," said Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence. "I commend the lawmakers for working in a bipartisan manner to help Kentucky communities attack the growing methamphetamine problem. We are also pleased that our bill contains a plan offered by the Attorney General's Office to crack down on rogue Internet pharmacies."
Police officers responded to nearly 580 meth labs last year in Kentucky. That number is up 3,000% in the last seven years. A similar anti-meth bill in Oklahoma has seen meth lab responses drop by nearly 50% since the law took effect.
The Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) helped draft and coordinate input on Governor Fletcher's meth bill. ODCP was created in September 2004 after a 20-week-long drug summit and 16 regional public hearings attended by thousands of Kentuckians.
"Fourteen months ago the drug summit was still an idea and the ODCP had not been created yet," said ODCP Executive Director Teresa Barton. "Now, today we can point to the Governor's meth bill as a major accomplishment that ODCP was able to marshal through the process. We are fulfilling our role as a coordinating entity that brings people together and gets results that will help lessen the drug problem in Kentucky."
Senate Bill 63, sponsored by Sen. Robert Stivers (R-Manchester), now goes back to the Senate for concurrence. Senate Bill 63 unanimously passed in both the Senate Judiciary Committee and in the full Senate.
For more information about SB 63, please visit http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/05rs/SB63.htm.