from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
May 25, 2005
Contact: Terry Franks or Lewis Simmons
(512) 463-0130

Estes Advances Legislation in War on Meth

AUSTIN -- Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) advanced the war on methamphetamine when the Senate passed a House bill similar to Estes' legislation approved earlier this month.

House Bill 164 by Representative Leo Berman (R-Tyler) received unanimous approval by the Senate late Tuesday night while Senate Bill 107 by Estes languished in the House Calendars Committee. Both bills contain similar language aimed at limiting access to pseudoephedrine tablets, an essential ingredient for making methamphetamine.

"Representative Berman and I have been working together toward a goal of passing whichever of our bills ultimately survives the legislative process," Estes said. "My bill got hung up in the House, but I was able to keep Mr. Berman's bill alive in the Senate. Despite the obstacles, I am confident that we're going to get this legislation passed. It has been among my top priorities throughout this session of the Legislature."

The legislation limits access to over-the-counter sales of tablet forms of pseudoephedrine products which must be kept behind a pharmacy counter or in a locked case within 30 feet and in direct line of sight of the sales clerk. Sales are limited to two packages or six grams. Purchasers must display a driver's license or other picture identification, and stores are required to keep a record of the customer's name, date of birth, date of purchase and the pseudoephedrine product purchased; these records must be kept for two years and may be viewed by state and local law enforcement agencies.

Further, it allows the Department of Family and Protective Services to take possession of a child who is on a premise where meth is present. It also requires pharmaceutical wholesalers to record and report sales of pseudoephedrine and requires them to notify the Texas Department of Public Safety about transactions involving suspicious quantities of pseudoephedrine tablets.

"My primary goal is to place some reasonable limits on the accessibility of pseudoephedrine tablets being used to cook methamphetamine. These paranoid, delusional, homicidal meth cooks must be told that they cannot obtain pseudoephedrine to cook this drug. This legislation puts an axe to the root of this terrible problem sweeping Texas and the nation," Estes said.

# # #