Governor Quinn signs legislation to help stop meth production

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

 Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation that will help law enforcement officials stop meth production. Senate Bill 73 makes permanent a pilot program initially created to electronically track pseudoephedrine purchases that could be used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

“This program is a valuable tool that helps us prevent meth from getting into our communities by stopping production,” said Governor Quinn. “Tracking the sales of items commonly used to manufacture meth has enabled us to nip production in the bud, and it is important to continue this program.”   

The Methamphetamine Precursor Tracking Act took effect in 2009 and required pharmacies to track purchases of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine online through the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx). Under SB 73, initiated by Attorney General Lisa Madigan and sponsored by Sen. William Haine (D-Alton) and Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Sparta), the tracking program becomes permanent. Pharmacies will also block purchases of more than 7.5 grams of pseudoephedrine made within 30 days and purchases of 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine made in a 24-hour time span.

“Unfortunately, meth production is starting to increase again across the state,” Attorney General Madigan said.  “We have found that the PSE tracking system is the best tool law enforcement has to identify criminals who illegally buy cold pills for cooking meth.”

Since its implementation, the program has effectively blocked more than 103,319 boxes - or 230,330 grams - of pseudoephedrine from being used for methamphetamine production in communities throughout Illinois. Additionally NPLEx has assisted the Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Teams locate and seize 155 methamphetamine laboratories and make 231 methamphetamine arrests.

“The Illinois State Police have dedicated dozens of trained officers to investigate meth-related crimes and clandestine drug lab sites, which has resulted in the reduction of meth labs seized,” said Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau. “We are confident that the new statute will continue to help law enforcement track and monitor illegal PSE-based products in Illinois, detect criminal activity and prevent meth labs from forming.”

“The production of meth is a serious concern around the state, particularly in our rural communities,” said Sen. Haine. “I would like to thank Governor Quinn for signing this law to continue tracking PSE products that can be used to manufacture meth.”

“We must do everything we can to keep dangerous drugs like meth out of our communities,” Rep. Costello said. “This new law gives us an edge on shutting down meth labs by helping us find the individuals who are making frequent purchases of meth-making products.”

The legislation passed the Illinois General Assembly unanimously and goes into effect immediately.