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Governor Sonny Perdue Signs Methamphetamine Legislation

Thursday, May 15, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Tougher Laws Will Combat Growing Methamphetamine Production and Use

Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue today signed into law Senate Bill 205, methamphetamine legislation that strengthens criminal penalties for the manufacture, transfer and possession of methamphetamine and criminalizes the transport of materials used in its illegal manufacture:

"Methamphetamine abuse has gone unchecked for too long in our state. Concerns about methamphetamine's impact on our state led me to ask my Senate Floor Leaders to introduce this bill at my behest. As such, I am very proud to add my signature to this important public safety legislation today and join law enforcement professionals around Georgia in sending a clear message to those engaged in methamphetamine production, distribution and possession," said Governor Perdue.

"You are not welcome in Georgia. Compromising the well-being of Georgia families and children will not be tolerated," added Governor Perdue.

"I want to again extend thanks to the Georgia legislature for its bipartisan support, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for their expert assistance in developing and passing this important legislation."

Methamphetamine Poses Major Public Safety and Public Health Threat to Georgians

State data provided by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) confirms that methamphetamine may be more addictive than heroin. Its harmful effects can include addiction, psychotic behavior, and brain damage. Chronic usage can cause violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, delusions, and paranoia. The brain damage that results from methamphetamine usage is similar to Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and epilepsy.

Methamphetamine continues to gain popularity among older teenagers and adults thirty-five and younger. The alarming trends of methamphetamine production are further supported by numerous state and national statistics including:

  • Each individual producing methamphetamine will teach 10 others to produce the drug. Proliferation of production has caused a 50% reduction in the street level price of methamphetamine within the past two years.

  • The growth of methamphetamine production is so widespread that 25% of drug-related federal sentences in Georgia were methamphetamine-related, compared to 15% nationwide.

  • The GBI and its supervised Drug Task Force seized 148 clandestine labs in 2002 and is on track to reach higher numbers during the current fiscal year.

Summary Information Regarding Methamphetamine Legislation

Georgia's new methamphetamine legislation ranks among the strongest in the nation. The law will:

  • Make it a felony offense to steal anhydrous ammonia (a substance commonly used in the production of methamphetamine);

  • Create the felony offense of possessing anhydrous ammonia with knowledge that it will be used unlawfully to manufacture a controlled substance;

  • Prohibit the possession and transport of anhydrous ammonia in an unapproved container;

  • Make it a felony offense to possess any product that contains ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine in an amount that exceeds 300 pills, tablets, capsules or other individual units or more than 9 grams of these substances, whichever is smaller;

  • Create the felony offense of possessing any amount of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine with the intent of producing methamphetamine;

  • Create a felony offense to possess, manufacture, deliver, distribute, dispense, administer, purchase, sell or possess with intent to distribute any substance containing any amounts of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine which have been altered from their original form to a powdered, liquefied or crushed form; and

  • Provide stiffer penalties for trafficking methamphetamine.