An act relating to precursor drugs of methamphetamine.
The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Sec. 1. 4 V.S.A. § 1102 is amended to read:
§ 1102. JUDICIAL BUREAU; JURISDICTION
(a) A judicial bureau is created within the judicial branch under the supervision of the supreme court.
(b) The judicial bureau shall have jurisdiction of the following matters:
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under subdivision 658(c)(1) of Title 7, relating to an employee of a second
class licensee selling alcohol to a minor during a compliance check
(11) violations of 18 V.S.A. § 4234b(b), relating to selling ephedrine base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base.
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Sec. 2. 18 V.S.A. § 4234b is added to read:
§ 4234b. EPHEDRINE AND PSEUDOEPHEDRINE
(1) No person shall knowingly and unlawfully possess a drug product containing ephedrine base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base with the intent to use the product as a precursor to manufacture methamphetamine or another controlled substance.
(2)(A) Except as provided in subdivision (2)(B) of this subsection, there shall be a permissive inference that a person who possesses a drug product containing nine or more grams of ephedrine base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base intends to use the product as a precursor to methamphetamine or another controlled substance.
(B) The permissive inference established by subdivision (2)(A) of this subsection shall not apply to the following persons lawfully possessing drug products in the course of legitimate business:
(i) A bona fide retailer of drug products or the retailer’s agents.
(ii) A bona fide wholesaler of drug products or the wholesaler’s agents.
(iii) A manufacturer of drug products licensed by the board of pharmacy, or the manufacturer’s agents.
(iv) A pharmacist licensed by the board of pharmacy, or the pharmacist’s agents.
(v) A licensed health care professional possessing the drug products in the course of carrying out his or her profession, or the health care professional’s agents.
(3) A person who violates this subsection shall:
(A) if the offense involves possession of less than nine grams of ephedrine base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base, be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $2,000.00, or both;
(B) if the offense involves possession of nine or more grams of ephedrine base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base, be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $100,000.00, or both.
(1) A drug product containing ephedrine base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base shall not be distributed at retail to the general public unless it is maintained in a locked display case or behind the counter out of the public’s reach.
(2)(A) A retail establishment shall not knowingly sell to a person within a calendar day any drug product or combination of drug products containing a total of more than 3.6 grams of ephedrine base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base.
(B) This subdivision shall not apply to drug products dispensed pursuant to a valid prescription.
(3) A person or business which violates this subdivision shall:
(A) for a first violation be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $100.00.
(B) for a second and subsequent violation be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $500.00.
(d) This section shall not apply to a manufacturer which has obtained an exemption from the Attorney General of the United States under section 711(d) of the federal Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005.
(e) As used in this section:
(1) “Distributor” means a person, other than a manufacturer or wholesaler, who sells, delivers, transfers, or in any manner furnishes a drug product to any person who is not the ultimate user or consumer of the product.
(2) “Knowingly” means having actual knowledge of the relevant facts.
(3) “Manufacturer” means a person who produces, compounds, packages, or in any manner initially prepares a drug product for sale or use.
(4) “Wholesaler” means a person, other than a manufacturer, who sells, transfers, or in any manner furnishes a drug product to any other person for the purpose of being resold.
(a) The department of health shall develop a publicity and education program to explain the need for change in public access to methamphetamine precursors. The program shall include, at a minimum the following components:
(1) The publication of brochures and posters explaining the dangers of methamphetamine, the requirements of this act, and the need for placing restrictions on public access to methamphetamine precursors and for requiring that a log be signed when the precursors are purchased. The department shall make the brochures published pursuant to this subsection available to the public. The posters published pursuant to this subsection shall be made available to all retail establishments which make methamphetamine precursors available for sale.
(2) A coalition to educate the public and disseminate information about methamphetamine and its precursors, to evaluate current treatment opportunities for individuals abusing methamphetamine, and to recommend legislative changes to combat the dangers posed by methamphetamine abuse and production.
(b) On or before January 15, 2007, the department shall report on the status and components of the education program developed pursuant to this section and on the coalition’s evaluation of treatment opportunities for methamphetamine and recommendations for legislative action to the house committee on human services and the senate committee on health and welfare.
Sec. 4. APPROPRIATION
The amount of $20,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the department of health to develop the publicity and education program about methamphetamine precursors required by section 3 of this act.
Sec. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on September 30, 2006.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street