Prosecuting Attorneys Support Amendment to Meth Bill

There is support for an amendment to a bill that would help prosecutors attack the epidemic of methamphetamine labs and the dangers that meth production impose on residents.

The amendment to Senate Bill 536 sponsored by Senator Brent Steele targets meth production by making ephedrine and pseudoephedrine schedule IV controlled substances. The pills would only be available by a doctor’s prescription.

Delaware County Prosecutor Jeffrey Arnold told the Indiana Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law this week that the production of meth is a greater issue to law enforcement and the public. According to statistics in an Indiana Prosecuting Attorney’s Council press release, it takes an Indiana State Police mobile lab eight hours to dispose of a lab at a cost of $160,000. The local fire department is usually on standby in case the volatile chemicals explode. If a meth lab is in a rented house or apartment, the dwelling must be decontaminated. It could be too costly for the landlord to clean up so then the structure would be deemed a blighted property.

Prosecutor Arnold stated that the cost of meth production in 2014 was $3.14 billion, as determined in a Rand Corporation study.

The committee took the amendment under advisement.