2005-08-05 / Community

Pheffer: Time To Nix Meth Labs

Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer has called upon the governor to sign legislation passed by the Assembly and Senate into law to help crack down on the manufacturing and use of methamphetamine in New York (A.9002/S.5920).

“The illegal manufacturing and use of methamphetamines continues to plague communities across New York. The Legislature passed bipartisan legislation to address this growing problem and now it’s up to the governor to sign the bill into law,” said Pheffer.

Methamphetamine, known as meth, is an addictive stimulant drug that is associated with serious health conditions, including aggression, violence, psychotic behavior, memory loss, and potential heart and neurological damage.

Current law creates too many difficulties for law enforcement agencies who investigate methamphetamine law sites, because, in most cases, if no final drug product is recovered – but there is other evidence that a lab exists – police are unable to make a felony arrest. This joint effort will amend state law to permit law enforcement to make an arrest when they discover an illegal meth lab. The bill also makes illegal the possession of certain ingredients that are necessary for the manufacture of methamphetamine, when they are possessed with intent to manufacture the drug.

The comprehensive methamphetamine bill will: Make the theft of liquid anhydrous ammonia, or the possession of stolen liquid anhydrous ammonia, a popular meth precursor, a felony; Create a new crime of illegal manufacture of methamphetamine when a person possesses certain combinations of meth-making equipment, and ingredients used to manufacture meth; Create additional crimes of disposing of hazardous materials that are the result of a meth lab; Coordinate cooperation between emergency services personnel, police and the Department of Environmental Conservation when a meth lab is discovered to coordinate response efforts including cleanup of a meth site; and educate certain mandated reporters of child abuse on how to recognize the presence of a meth lab.

Additional provisions within the bill will provide a statewide repository of data to help law enforcement with ongoing investigations, implement a statewide methamphetamine education program that will inform children and others on the risks of methamphetamine use and production, as well as facilitate the cooperation between the state police and the Department of Environmental Conservation as they work together to clean up lab sites.

“Methamphetamine abuse has devastated far too many lives across the state,” said Pheffer. “This legislation will help immediately combat meth lab production and drug abuse.”

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