Senate approves Marleau bill blocking illegal sale of meth ingredients

LANSING–The state Senate passed a measure Wednesday that would implement a tracking system to block the illegal sale of medications containing pseudoephedrine (PSE), one of the primary components used to make the drug methamphetamine.

Bill co-sponsor Sen. Jim Marleau, chair of the Senate Health Policy Committee, said Senate Bill 333 would implement the National Precursor Law Exchange, or “e-tracking” system.

“Meth is deadly. It kills its addicts and it destroys families,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “An e-tracking system is the most effective way to prevent the manufacture of this devastating drug in Michigan.”

Marleau said the process works in a similar way to a credit card system. Under the e-tracking system, pharmacists and retailers can refuse sale of these medications if a purchaser goes over the legal limit.

The statewide system provides up-to-the-minute information on PSE purchases and allows law enforcement to identify those who are abusing the system.

E-tracking is available at no cost to Michigan taxpayers, and it maintains consumer access to these medications, which help treat the common cold and allergies.

“Perhaps most importantly, e-tracking has proven effective,” Marleau said. “Sixteen states have this type of system. In eight of these states, the technology blocks nearly 126,000 grams of illegal PSE sales per month.

“This is a safe, proven way to dramatically curb the production of meth and reduce the tragedies associated with addiction to the drug.”

SB 333 now heads to the governor’s office to be signed into law.