Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer is headed to Indianapolis today to testify in a legislative hearing regarding the continued fight to curb the production of methamphetamine.
Thallemer is among a group of Indiana mayors who want lawmakers to put more restrictions on ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient needed to manufacture the drug.
Senate Bill 496 calls for the medications to be sold only by pharmacies that use a tracking system and limits the amount of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine an individual can purchase in a one-year period to just 61 grams. Currently, Indiana allows for the purchase of 86.4 grams a year.
Thallemer is an advocate of stronger legislation pertaining to the drugs as Kosciusko County has consistently been in the top 5 Indiana counties for the most number of methamphetamine labs.
In November 2012, with several meth labs located in local hotels and motels, the mayor wrote hoteliers asking them to be diligent in efforts to prevent meth manufacturing. He noted, “The battle to end this scourge must be fought at all levels. The cost of these crimes includes big dollars spent for toxic cleanup, medical care, investigation, prosecution, incarceration, rehabilitation, family social services, etc. The real cost of these crimes, however, is the human toll on the victim, their families and our community.” (See related story)
SB 496 was approved by the state Senate last month but is now pending in the state House. Originally, a bill introduced by State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki (R-Syracuse) was proposed to make pseudoephedrine or ephedrine a doctor-prescribed drug, but that bill did not make it out of committee. (See related story)
SB 49 also increases penalties for meth-related crimes and for those caught providing ephedrine and/or pseudoephedrine and other precursors to another person. It further makes it a class B felony for property damages caused by fire or explosion caused by meth manufacturing, and makes it a class A felony if manufacturing results in a fire or explosion that causes serious bodily injury to another person.