Sunday, February 12, 2006

Methamphetamine bill tucked in Patriot Act

The ingredients used to make methamphetamine would be under restriction across the nation under provisions included in an agreement on an anti-terrorism bill, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Ia., said Friday night.

Grassley said negotiators working on renewal of the Patriot Act also included a variation of what has been dubbed the "Combat Meth Act." The measure is an attempt to write national law based in part on Iowa's strict new anti-meth laws.

The national bill, if signed into law by the president, will not override Iowa's law, Grassley said.

The Patriot Act proposal must be approved by both chambers.

Under the meth language:

• Sales of medicine containing pseudoephedrine and two other chemicals used to make meth would be conducted from behind the counter, and buyers would be limited to 9 grams a month - about three boxes of cold medicine — and 3.6 grams a day.

• An additional $99 million a year for the next five years would be provided under the "Meth Hot Spots" program to train state and local law enforcement officials.

• An additional $20 million in grant money would be spent in 2006 and 2007 for Drug Endangered Children rapid response teams to help children affected by meth production.

• Criminal penalties for meth trafficking and production would be enhanced.


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