[r52] General Assembly takes steps to stop meth production (2/23/2012)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Start Date: 2/23/2012
End Date: 2/23/2012
STATEHOUSE –The General Assembly is taking positive steps to combat the production of methamphetamine in Indiana. Rep. David Yarde’s (R-Garrett) co-authored legislation, House Bill (HB) 1196, aims to do just that.

Rep. Yarde’s proposed legislation was passed out of the House and is now being heard in the Senate. The bill expands the definition of synthetic drugs to include a range of chemical compounds, including those known as “bath salts.” The bill will help prohibit the rising sales of these hazardous substances.

“I am extremely pleased with the efforts the General Assembly is putting forth to stop the use of these dangerous drugs in Indiana,” said Rep. Yarde. “Drug addiction is a very serious issue that needs to be stopped. We cannot sit back and let the youth of Indiana be exposed to and harmed by these dangerous substances.”

Rep. Yarde’s version of the bill allows the Indiana Board of Pharmacy to add newly identified chemical components, found in Indiana or other states, to the banned list immediately through emergency rule.

‘Bath salts’ have effects similar to amphetamines and can cause damage to the nervous system. The law would make possessing or dealing synthetic bath salts the same as the real drugs and therefore punish those offenses with jail time.

The House of Representative also heard Senate Bill (SB) 234, of which Rep. Yarde is a co-sponsor. Similar language to HB 1196, SB 234 makes “bath salts” illegal. The bill would also suspend merchant’s retailer licenses for up to a year for anyone who was caught selling these illegal drugs.

The significant activity of methamphetamine is causing concerns for Hoosiers all over the state. This concern is driven by the change in compounds that have recently escaped Indiana law. Chemists are taking advantage of the current law that only lists specific drugs and not many specific ingredients that are extremely dangerous.

“The General Assembly is very serious about making these synthetic drugs not accessible to young people, said Rep. Yarde. “Their protection is extremely important to us, and we will continue to take positive steps in this direction.”

To help conquer the ongoing fight against meth, the Indiana State Police established a program called the Methamphetamine Suppression Section (MSS) in 2005. That same year pseudoephedrine controls were passed in Indiana, which placed all cold and allergy products containing the pseudoephedrine or ephedrine behind the counter in a locked display case or under constant video monitoring. This law was updated in the 2010 and 2011 legislative sessions.

The mission of the Meth Suppression Section is to pro-actively investigate methamphetamine crimes in communities all over the state of Indiana. MSS utilizes a three pronged approach by focusing on enforcement, education and the creation of partnerships.

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Rep. David Yarde represents District 52 which includes parts of LaGrange and Noble Counties. Rep. Yarde serves as Vice Chair of the Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee. He is also a member of the Elections and Apportionment, Roads and Transportation and Utilities and Energy Committees.

Yarde NR - general assembly takes steps to stop meth.docx