Lawmakers Revise State’s Policy in Fight Against Meth

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

On Wednesday, state lawmakers began work to come up with new legislation and a re-direction of state money to deal with the state’s current fight against methamphetamine.   The step follows up on laws passed in 2006 that focused on the home-based manufacture of the drug.

Deputy Attorney General Rick Svobodny heads the Department of Law’s Criminal Division.   He reported that the new law has worked by restricting access to the basic ingredients of meth – primarily pseudoephedrine available as cold and sinus medicine. He said the number of meth labs has decreased from 37 in 2005 to nine last year.

However, he told the House Judiciary Committee that the illegal sale and use of meth has increased since the law was enacted.  He says that indicates it is being imported – and that the consumption is spreading throughout the state.

Mat-Su Republican Carl Gatto said that those results come as no surprise to anyone who was involved in working on the 2006 bill.  Lawmakers at the time had no illusions that they would diminish use of the drug.

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