A bill that offers new crackdowns on the illegal drug methamphetamine passed the U.S. Senate unanimously last night and heads to the House. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who co-chairs the Senate International Narcotics Control Caucus, co-sponsored the legislation.
Grassley says, "What this bill does is enhance the penalties for methamphetamine and particularly affecting people who sell or deliver methamphetamine to teenagers or people that’re underage."
Congress has adopted many of the same standards to get a handle on meth which were passed by the Iowa legislature in 2005. The state measures placed most allergy and cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine behind the counter and forced buyers to show an I-D and sign a log book.
Pseudoephedrine can be mined out of the legal drugs and is a key ingredient in making meth. Grassley says he’s pleased with the latest national victory in fighting the dangerous, highly-addictive drug.
The bill, called the Combat Methamphetamine Enhancement Act, requires retailers who sell medications containing pseudoephedrine to go through training to make sure they comply with the "Combat Meth Law" that passed a few years ago.
Grassley says it also requires the Drug Enforcement Agency to provide a downloadable database for distributors to use. After Iowa adopted the tougher regulations four years ago, the number of meth lab busts statewide fell by 75-percent in the first month.