§60A-10-2. Purpose; findings.

The Legislature finds:

(a) That the illegal production and distribution of methamphetamine is an increasing problem nationwide and particularly prevalent in rural states such as West Virginia.

(b) That methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that can be manufactured in small and portable laboratories. These laboratories are operated by individuals who manufacture the drug in a clandestine and unsafe manner, often resulting in explosions and fires that can injure not only the individuals involved, but their families, neighbors, law-enforcement officers and firemen.

(c) That use of methamphetamine can result in fatal kidney and lung disorders, brain damage, liver damage, blood clots, chronic depression, hallucinations, violent and aggressive behavior, malnutrition, disturbed personality development, deficient immune system and psychosis. Children born to mothers who are abusers of methamphetamine can be born addicted and suffer birth defects, low birth weight, tremors, excessive crying, attention deficit disorder and behavior disorders.

(d) That in addition to the physical consequences to an individual who uses methamphetamine, usage of the drug also produces an increase in automobile accidents, explosions and fires, increased criminal activity, increased medical costs due to emergency room visits, increases in domestic violence, increased spread of infectious diseases and a loss in worker productivity.

(e) That environmental damage is another consequence of the methamphetamine epidemic. Each pound of methamphetamine produced leaves behind five to six pounds of toxic waste. Chemicals and byproducts that result from the manufacture of methamphetamine are often poured into plumbing systems, storm drains or directly onto the ground. Clean up of methamphetamine laboratories is extremely resource-intensive, with an average remediation cost of $5,000.

(f) That it is in the best interest of every West Virginian to develop a viable solution to address the growing methamphetamine problem in the State of West Virginia. The Legislature finds that restricting access to over-the-counter drugs used to facilitate production of methamphetamine is necessary to protect the public safety of all West Virginians.

(g) That it is further in the best interests of every West Virginian to create impediments to the manufacture of methamphetamine by requiring persons purchasing chemicals necessary to the process to provide identification.

Bill History For §60A-10-2