State bill aims to bar sale of meth ingredients

Staff Report

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) applauded House lawmakers for their unanimous support of a bill to prevent so-called “pill shoppers” from purchasing pseudoephedrine for individuals barred from buying the key ingredient that is used to manufacture methamphetamine. House members voted 118-0 April 17 to send House Bill 806 to the Senate.

The measure amends the Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act by making it illegal for individuals to knowingly purchase pseudoephedrine or ephedrine on behalf of meth manufacturers. The amendment strengthens the so-called “pill shopping” violation, making it a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent conviction.

Madigan said the change is necessary to keep meth precursors out of the hands of meth cooks, who often turn to “pill shoppers” to buy cold pills on their behalf because of previous convictions that bar offenders from purchasing pseudoephedrine. The Attorney General stressed that the amendment will not impact lawful buyers of pseudoephedrine. They will still be able to obtain pseudoephedrine-containing medications within the current limits set by Illinois law.

We must be aggressive in adapting to how meth manufacturers skirt the law to make this dangerous drug,” said Madigan. “The bill gives law enforcement a necessary tool to prosecute pill shoppers who are paid to evade laws on the sale of pseudoephedrine in Illinois.”

State Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, a longtime supporter of tough methamphetamine laws, sponsored the legislation in consultation with Madigan’s office.

Despite our best efforts, meth addicts constantly find new ways to circumvent the law,” Bradley said. “Attorney General Madigan and I have worked before to address various issues pertaining to meth’s disastrous effects on families and society, and I welcome this opportunity to do so again.”

Madigan has worked to combat the scourge of meth use and production in Illinois, passing tough laws, including the 2006 Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act, which cracked down on the sale of pseudoephedrine, and strengthening penalties for those convicted of meth-related offenses.

From the April 24-30, 2013, issue

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