N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper issued a statement Wednesday morning giving a push to a bill cracking down on methamphetamine production, which is on the House floor in the afternoon.
“Meth labs threaten our communities with crime, addiction, and even fires, explosions and toxic chemicals,” Cooper said in the statement. “We’re working hard to find and stop these dangerous drug labs, and stronger laws will help us.”
HB29 would make it a felony for someone who has been convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine to possess products containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient of the drug that is also found in cold medicines. It would also impose tougher penalties for making methamphetamine around children, the elderly or the disabled.
Cooper says there has been a recent surge in meth labs in North Carolina, reaching a new high last year in part because cookers discovered an easier method to make the drug in smaller batches. State Bureau of Investigation agents dealt with 460 meth labs in 2012 compared to 344 in 2011 and 235 in 2010, according to the attorney general’s office. So far this year, 70 labs have already been raided.
Update: The House overwhelmingly approved the bill.