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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, March 9, 2006

 
CONTACT:
Jennifer de Vallance, ONDCP (202) 395–6618
PRESIDENT BUSH SIGNS USA PATRIOT ACT
Anti-Meth Provisions Take Aim at
Methamphetamine Production, Trafficking, Use

(Washington, DC)—Today President Bush signed legislation making the USA PATRIOT Act Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 law. The law includes important provisions to strengthen Federal, state, and local efforts to combat the spread of methamphetamine, which has affected communities across the Nation.

The Bush Administration has strongly supported the development of Federal legislation to combat methamphetamine production, trafficking, and abuse, including restrictions on the precursor chemicals required to make methamphetamine.

Last August, the Bush Administration announced a comprehensive strategy involving the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, working in conjunction with state and local officials, to combat methamphetamine production, trafficking and abuse. The Administration's efforts are focused on four core areas: prevention and treatment; law enforcement; education; and management of the drug's unique consequences.

Immediately following his participation in today's signing ceremony, the U.S. Drug Czar, John Walters, said, "We thank Congress for passing this important legislation. Meth is a loathsome drug, poisoning both users and the communities in which it is manufactured. The action taken today will help close the spigot on domestic meth production, and give us new tools to protect our nation from international meth trafficking."

The Combat Methamphetamine Act contained in the reauthorization legislation generally adopts the principles urged upon Congress by Attorney General Gonzales, Secretary Leavitt, and Director Walters in August 2005, in that it eliminates the blister pack exemption for record-keeping of products containing pseudoephedrine, better controls the "domestic spot market" for pseudoephedrine and similar chemicals by imposing a 15-day restriction period on importers when the ultimate recipient of the sale changes after the shipment enters the United States, and imposes a domestic 3.6 gram per-day, per-customer limitation on the retail sale of these chemicals.

Key anti-meth provisions in the legislation include:

  • Restricts The Sale Of Necessary Ingredients To Make Methamphetamine.
    • Restricts the sale of medicines containing pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine (PPA) by placing them behind the counter, requiring purchasers to show identification, and limiting how much one person can buy to 9 grams a month and 3.6 grams in a single day.
    • Products must be sold in blister packs, each of which may contain a maximum of two dosage units.
  • Creates New DEA Classification For Methamphetamine Precursors.
    • Creates a new meth precursor Scheduled Listed Chemicals Section in the Controlled Substances Act, which imposes tougher penalties for meth cooks.
    • Gives the Attorney General the authority to establish production quotas for precursor chemicals.
  • Provides Critical Resources To Local Law Enforcement And State And Local Governments.
    • Authorizes an additional $99,000,000 per year for the next five years under the Meth Hot Spots program to train state and local law enforcement to investigate and lock-up methamphetamine offenders.
  • Enhances International Enforcement of Methamphetamine Trafficking.
    • Requires the State Department to identify the five largest exporting, and five largest importing countries of these chemicals, and conduct an analysis of worldwide production versus legitimate demand, followed by a plan, submitted to Congress, to reduce diversion of these chemicals.
    • Also requires the State Department to take certain actions to prevent the smuggling of methamphetamine into the United States from Mexico, including bilateral efforts at the U.S.-Mexico border and providing equipment and technical assistance.
    • Authorizes $4 million to prevent the smuggling of methamphetamine from Mexico.
  • Provides Services For Children Affected By The Spread Of Methamphetamine.
    • Authorizes $20,000,000 in grant funding in 2006 and 2007 for Drug Endangered Children rapid response teams to promote collaboration among Federal, state, and local agencies to assist children affected by the production of methamphetamine.
  • Enhances Environmental Regulation Of Methamphetamine By-products.
    • Requires reports to Congress by the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency regarding by-products of methamphetamine production.
  • Enhances Criminal Penalties For Methamphetamine Production And Trafficking.
    • Increases penalties for smuggling methamphetamine or precursor chemicals in specified areas.
    • Reduces the threshold under which methamphetamine traffickers qualify, for prosecution purposes, as "Kingpins," and provides that Kingpins of "Continuing Criminal Enterprises" will be subject to life imprisonment for a reduced threshold amount of methamphetamine and profits from the drug.
    • Provides that offenders who manufacture methamphetamine at a location where a child resides or is present could be eligible for a consecutive sentence of up to 20 additional years of imprisonment.
  • Addresses Methamphetamine Use By Pregnant And Parenting Women Offenders.
    • Awards competitive 3-year grants to address the use of methamphetamine among pregnant and parenting women offenders to promote public safety, public health, family permanence, and well being.