A bipartisan coalition of U.S. House members yesterday introduced broad legislation that would target the domestic trade in methamphetamine and the international trade in pseudoephedrine, the drug’s key ingredient, reports The Oregonian. The “Methamphetamine Epidemic Elimination Act,” combines pending proposals into a single package supported by key Democrats and top Republican leaders. The bill will move rapidly to its first hearing Tuesday. One sponsor predicted that it will be on the fast track to passage.
The legislation would greatly expand the role of foreign policy in the fight against meth. It would allow U.S. officials to track sales of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine from the limited number of factories that produce the chemicals worldwide. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials would set import quotas based on legitimate demand, as the DEA does now for narcotic drugs. State Department officials would be required to estimate the legitimate demand for cold medicine in top importing countries. The agency could withdraw aid from countries that import excessive quantities.