Bill would lower limits for acquiring meth ingredients

State Sen. Ed McBroom reintroduced a bill that would lower the amount of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine bought within a 30-day period. These over-the counter medications are primary ingredients in making methamphetamine.

“This bill was originally introduced by representative Kivela and was part of a significant effort that he, I and others made regarding the creation of meth,” McBroom said.

McBroom said he has spoken with law enforcement about the bill that much of the credit for the bill had to go to former Rep. John Kivela, Sara Cambensy’s predecessor in District 109.

Senate Bill 170 would lower the current 30-day limit of 9 grams, to 7.2 grams and introduce an additional yearly limit of 61.2 grams.

“It aligns the amount of pseudoephedrine that an individual person can safely take with how much they can buy,” McBroom said.

The maximum recommended dose for products containing pseudoephedrine is 240 milligrams per day. In 30-days, that equals 7.2 grams. The 61.2-gram limit works out to about 168 milligrams daily.

“It still provides the opportunity for a prescription to go beyond that level,” McBroom said.

The limit, and the tracking of the purchases that goes along with it, should help law enforcement identify those attempting to buy large amounts of the drug in order to produce meth, according to McBroom.

The Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team (UPSET) did not return a call for comment.

McBroom also worked with other senators to introduce Senate Joint Resolution E, which would update the state’s 1963 constitution with the proper names of the state-funded universities and include them in the Open Meetings Act.

The constitution currently grants universities autonomy from the Michigan Legislature.

“In the late ’90s due to a court case and decision, some of the universities in the state have begun to utilize that autonomy to say they don’t have to follow the provisions of the Open Meeting Act,” McBroom said.

He said he does not think universities should be able to completely disregard the open meetings act. He has heard several complaints about downstate universities during a hearing on a similar resolution during his time as a House representative.

“You also have the recent occurrence with the Larry Nassar situation at MSU,” McBroom said. “I have not received complaints regarding this about Northern or about Michigan Tech.”

McBroom aid he felt compelled to bring the issue up for another discussion.

“There’s significant support on my committee for this issue,” he said.

McBroom said he plans to work with the universities to create another bill that would make changes to the Open Meetings Act in order to allow the universities to conduct certain business in a closed session, much like local governments. Because the resolution would change the Michigan constitution, it would also require voter approval in the next general election.