Magee Supports Measures to Stop Meth Production


(June 2012)

In an effort to combat the growing number of methamphetamine labs in the area, Assemblyman Bill Magee (D-Nelson) sponsored legislation to restrict the sale of over-the-counter methamphetamine precursor drugs (A.8384-C). Recently, 24 individuals were indicted in connection with a major methamphetamine manufacture and distribution investigation centered in Madison, Oneida and Oswego counties.

“I’m dedicated to keeping our communities safe and healthy,” said Magee. “These substances present an immediate threat to our young adults and the public-at-large.”

Currently, New York’s laws regarding methamphetamine don’t limit the amount of over-the-counter precursors (the other drugs that are used to make methamphetamine) a person can buy each month. This legislation would require the individual purchasing the drugs to present photo identification to the retailer before the purchase.

The ID would then be electronically submitted to the National Precursor Log Exchange before the sale. If a person has surpassed their limit that month, the sale would be denied. It also requires all drugs be displayed behind the checkout counter and only be sold by a pharmacist, pharmacy tech or pharmacy clerk.

According to authorities, some of the 24 people who were most recently indicted purchased thousands of pills over the last two to three years and received even more from people they sent out to buy pills for them, Magee said.

“If such a database existed already, these criminals could have been prevented from purchasing thousands of pills over time, and this situation could have been avoided,” Magee said. “This legislation is needed to help put a stop to methamphetamine production.”

In the past three years, more than 30 labs have been found in Madison, Oneida and Oswego counties, according to the state police unit that investigates methamphetamine labs. The NPLEx system has already been implemented by 19 states and may reach 25 by the end of the year.

In a continuing effort to combat drug abuse and to keep local families healthy and safe, Magee also co-sponsored I-STOP legislation, he said, which would create a real-time database for prescription-drug monitoring that would allow physicians and pharmacists to check before dispensing certain drugs. This legislation has the support of the Assembly, Senate, governor and attorney general

1 comment to Magee Supports Measures to Stop Meth Production

  • Although, I am happy to see that Assemblyman Bill Magee wants to do something to keep methlabs from becoming the epidemic they have become in other areas of the country, tracking pseudoephedrine (PSE) buyers is not the way to do it. NPLEX, the electronic tracking system preferred and paid for by the pharmaceutical industry has done next to nothing in preventing the growth of methlabs in the other states that have adopted it. It is too easy to circumvent by using fake IDs or enlisting others to buy the legal quota of pseudoephedrine. There are no shortage of individuals who will help a meth cook obtain PSE, when they’re being paid $50 to $100 a box to do so. This is especially true in this economy, where many are jobless and homelessness and drug addiction are rampant. The best way to stop the manufacture of meth and the health and safety dangers it causes to communities is to make pseudoephedrine available only by prescription, the way it was prior to 1976. Two states – Oregon and Mississippi – have already done that and as a result they have watched the number of methlabs in their states plummet, along with problems and costs that go along with them – costs that can quickly overwhelm communities that are already struggling to make ends meet. More important than the money are the health and safety dangers that go hand-in-hand with methlabs. Over 2.5 million homes in the U.S. are thought to be contaminated with toxic methlab chemicals and that number is growing everyday. Living in a former meth lab home can make you sick, very sick, according to scientific studies and the experiences of those who’ve contacted me at Additionally, if you buy a home and later find out it was a former methlab, you are likely to own the cost of decontaminating it. The cost of decontamination can be anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over $150,000, if the home can be salvaged. Some homes are so badly contaminated, they have to be demolished. Methlabs are no joke. Take a strong stand against them by making pseudoephedrine a prescription drug. Trust me, you don’t want methlabs to take a foothold in your community.

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