AG: State Meth Laws Curbing Problem | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

AG: State Meth Laws Curbing Problem

[verbatim from AG's office]Since Mississippi's Meth Law went into effect just over a year ago, meth lab seizures have gone down 65%, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today. The new law passed by the Mississippi Legislature restricted access to Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine, the primary ingredients in the manufacturing of Crystal Meth.

According to statistics obtained from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, total meth lab seizures in Mississippi the 15 months before Mississippi Code §41-29-313 went into effect (March 1, 2004-June 30, 2005) were 486. The new meth law went into effect July 1, 2005 and statistics for the following 15 months (July 1, 2005-October 31, 2006) show 168 total meth lab seizures.

"I want to thank our lawmakers for a law that has proven successful right off the bat and our law enforcement for their continuous hard work in curbing the meth problem in our state," said Attorney General Jim Hood.

Within the last year, there have been about a dozen cases affirmed by the Mississippi Supreme Court and Court of Appeals for people convicted of possessing the chemicals used in meth manufacturing (examples: starter fluid, dry ice, lithium batteries, lye, nail polish remover, toilet bowl cleaner). In one case a man was convicted where he had the ingredients and almost 300 cold tablets. He is now spending more than 30 years in jail.
Mississippi's meth law has enhanced penalties for manufacturing the drug in the presence of children. According to a study obtained through the Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Resource Center, the number of children present at meth labs more than doubled from 1999 through 2001. Along with the physical and psychological effects of being exposed to such dangerous chemicals, abuse and neglect cases rise in association with meth cases.

"We need to look beyond our numbers to see that we're not only cutting down on the number of meth labs in the state, but also on the number of our children who are falling victim in the manufacturing of meth," said Attorney General Hood.

Today is National Methamphetamine Awareness Day, sponsored by the Department of Justice and supported by the National Association of Attorneys General through a resolution sponsored by Attorney General Hood and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. The purpose is to generate awareness about the damaging effects of meth abuse on individuals, families and American communities. For more information about National Methamphetamine Awareness Day, visit http://www.agjimhood.com.
###

Previous Comments

ID
90225
Comment

The meth laws in this state are so ridiculous. It seems like the MBN uses these "precursors" laws in order to bust some one & get them to rat out another person and then get that person to rat out another person and so on. Its just crazy.

Author
snowjob
Date
2006-11-30T12:05:41-06:00
ID
90226
Comment

The guv followed with his own press release at 10:51 a.m. Election year is a-comin'. ;-) GOVERNOR BARBOUR TOUTS RESULT OF METH LAWS (JACKSON, Mississippi) * Governor Haley Barbour was flanked by sheriffs, police officers, highway patrolmen and state narcotics agents in March 2005 when he signed into law a methamphetamine precursor initiative he said he hoped would make illegal manufacturing of the drug easier to investigate and prosecute. Today, according to statistics from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, that law -- coupled with more law enforcement resources -- has significantly reduced the availability of methamphetamine precursors as well as seizures of methamphetamine and the labs that manufacture it. “The precursor law has been an invaluable tool in fighting the scourge of illegal methamphetamine use,” Governor Barbour said. “When I signed the bill in 2005 I thanked the Legislature for passing it; today, I congratulate Mississippi’s outstanding law enforcement professionals and prosecutors at the city, county and state levels who have worked diligently to stem the tide of what once was an epidemic of abuse.” Methamphetamine seizures in fiscal year 2006 totaled 36 pounds, down about 30 percent from the 52 pounds seized in FY 2005, the MBN reported. And in FY 2006, the MBN encountered 117 methamphetamine labs, down more than half from the 273 labs the agency encountered in FY 2005. Governor Barbour in his 2005 State of the State address had called on the Legislature to make the precursors used to manufacture meth harder to obtain. Under the methamphetamine precursor bill that passed in the 2005 legislative session and took effect in July 2005, non-prescription cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine or ephedrine must be displayed behind the counter or under lock and key. The law also requires customers to show identification and sign their names to purchase the medicine. Law enforcement officials say pseudoephedrine is the key ingredient in the methamphetamine produced illegally in makeshift labs in Mississippi and around the country. “Methamphetamine labs pose a danger to officers and citizens alike. They cause fires, explosions and environmental contamination,” said Commissioner George Phillips, who heads the Department of Public Safety. “In the year since its inception, the precursor law has significantly reduced the availability of methamphetamine precursors as well as seizures of methamphetamine and the labs that manufacture it,” said MBN Director Marshall Fisher. Governor Barbour said the meth law was among his proposals to create safer communities by giving law enforcement more resources to fight drug crime while putting criminals behind bars. Among those efforts, the Department of Public Safety was reorganized and more state Troopers have been trained and are at work on the state’s highways. # # #

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-30T14:15:44-06:00
ID
90227
Comment

Am I missing something or what? Fewer methamphetamine seizures and fewer meth lab discoveries don't necessarily indicate a downturn in the seizure, use or manufacture of the drug. Mightn't it mean that the criminals have become more sophisticated at making and hiding it? Based on the numbers given, I just don't see a cause for celebrating just yet.

Author
Kacy
Date
2006-11-30T14:30:18-06:00
ID
90228
Comment

Good eye, Kacy. That's why they call these "press releases." ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-30T14:32:53-06:00
ID
90229
Comment

**Am I missing something or what? Fewer methamphetamine seizures and fewer meth lab discoveries don't necessarily indicate a downturn in the seizure, use or manufacture of the drug.** <-- Kacy, above. That should read "Fewer methamphetamine seizures and few math lab discoveries don't necessarily indicate a downturn in the use or manufacture of the drug." My bad!

Author
Kacy
Date
2006-11-30T14:32:57-06:00
ID
90230
Comment

Thanks, Ladd. You'd think our chief law enforcement officer and CEO would have wanted more concrete evidence before claiming 'victory'.

Author
Kacy
Date
2006-11-30T14:35:38-06:00
ID
90231
Comment

Meanwhile, I have to ask for the good sinus medicine behind the counter. All because some people.... *sigh* This had better do some good.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-11-30T19:28:17-06:00
ID
90232
Comment

Interestingly, the CL ran a meth story today saying use is "UP"! Meth use up as labs dwindle http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061201/NEWS/612010393/1001/NEWS "Meth use is rising despite what authorities believe has been a decrease in the number of home labs in Mississippi." so.... lab findings are down, but use is up? That's not right!

Author
LawClerk
Date
2006-12-01T10:45:15-06:00

Thanks to all our new JFP VIPs!

COVID-19 has closed down the main sources of the JFP's revenue -- concerts, festivals, fundraisers, restaurants and bars. If everyone reading this article gives $5 or more, we should be able to continue publishing through the crisis. Please pay what you can to keep us reporting and publishing.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

comments powered by Disqus