HOUSE AND SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY

 

 

June 09, 2005                                                                                                      Hearing Room 357

1:00 P.M.                                                                                                                  Tapes 161 - 164

Corrected 10/26/05

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Ginny Burdick, Chair

Sen. Charles Starr, Vice-Chair

Sen. Roger Beyer

Sen. Floyd Prozanski

Sen. Charlie Ringo

Sen. Vicki Walker

Sen. Doug Whitsett

 

MEMBERS VISITING:         Rep. Wayne Krieger, Chair

                                                Rep. Greg McPherson, Vice-Chair

                                                Rep. Andy Olson, Vice-Chair

                                                Rep. Bob Ackerman

                                                Rep. Jeff Barker

                                                Rep. Linda Flores

                                                Rep. Bill Garrard

                                                Rep. Kim Thatcher

                                                Rep. Kelley Wirth

                                               

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Heidi Moawad, Counsel

Dale Penn, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:        

HB 2485 – Public Hearing

SB 907 – Public Hearing

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 161, A

003

Chair Krieger

Calls the meeting to order at 1:18 p.m. and invites testimony from witnesses on the methamphetamine package bill.  Opens a public hearing on HB 2485 and SB 907.  Accepts written testimony from Bruce Bishop on SB 907 and HB 2485 (EXHIBITS A & B).  Opens up a joint public hearing on SB 907 and HB 2485.

HB 2485 & SB 907 – PUBLIC HEARING

011

Hardy Meyers

Oregon Attorney General.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 907 and HB 2485 (EXHIBIT C).  Talks about the necessity for prevention in battling the meth epidemic.

050

Meyers

Discusses pseudoephedrine and its use in the production of meth: the need for regulating its uses.

084

Steven Briggs

Chief Counsel, Department of Justice.  Testifies in support of HB 2485 and suggests that there might be an aspect of the bill that is overly broad.  Talks about a proposed amendment addressed in their testimony (Exhibit C).

106

Chair Burdick

Commends the witnesses on finding a loophole in the bill and stresses the need to fix the possible problem.  Asks about the precursor control issue: banning pseudoephedrine tablets in order to combat meth production.

125

Meyers

Discusses the report from the Drug Enforcement Administration that declares that liquid, gel, and tablet forms of pseudoephedrine can all be used for meth production: articulates the possibility that the state is heading towards an outright ban on all forms of the chemical.

146

Chair Krieger

Inquires about making the hard tablets prescription only.

158

Meyers

Agrees with the method discussed. 

167

Chair Krieger

Comments on the alternative drugs taking the places of pseudoephedrine-based pharmaceuticals.

191

Una Swanson

Department of Human Services.  Commends the work of the Meth Task Force.  Submits testimony and talks about the -3 amendment for SB 907 (EXHIBIT D).

224

Chair Burdick

Asks about if a child who was exposed to the fumes in a meth lab would be covered under this bill.

232

Swanson

Replies that they believe it would be covered under the criteria of the bill.

243

Sue Abrams

Children, Adults, and Families, Department of Human Services.  Testifies on their concerns over possible conflicts and drafting language choices in HB 2485.

284

Chair Krieger

Wonders about the frequency of food stamp suspensions due to violation of parole, agreements, or recovery programs.

292

Abrams

Stresses that it is most likely occurring infrequently.  Talks about the repercussions that are possibly handed out because of this offense.

313

Rep. Wirth

Inquires what is the single largest demographic for food stamps.

319

Abrams

Replies that the largest demographic is most likely single mothers.

347

Craig Durbin

Oregon State Police, Drug Enforcement Division.  Submits a testimony packet on the meth epidemic and testifies in support of SB 907 and HB 2485 (EXHIBIT E).

370

Durbin

Talks about the telltale signs of meth production and meth waste dump sites.

410

Durbin

Addresses the waste problem resulting from the meth epidemic.

TAPE 162, A

012

Durbin

Discusses the abuse of pseudoephedrine products being a law enforcement support issue.  Declares that the border counties have residents who are exiting the state to purchase the banned- pseudoephedrine products.

053

Durbin

Talks about the website addressed in his testimony that posts different recipes for meth production.

078

Durbin

States that gel caps can now be properly ‘cooked’ to produce 68% pseudoephedrine.

120

Durbin

Discusses the drafting choices for SB 907 that might not apply to some meth-super lab techniques.

157

Sen. Prozanski

Inquires about the purity of pseudoephedrine from the liquid medication form.

162

Durbin

Declares that he is not sure about the purity of pseudoephedrine in the liquid forms.  Talks about the process of gathering pseudoephedrine from the liquid forms.

188

Rep. Thatcher

Comments on the statement “abuse and statement data are not encouraging” on page 3 of the report from the Oregon High Intensity Area, an Executive Summary, and the statement of how “the Oregon medical marijuana law creates” difficulty in law enforcement methods against the meth epidemic. 

194

Durbin

Clarifies the statement and agrees that the medical marijuana exemptions make it more difficult to enforce the laws.

212

Rep. Thatcher

Inquires if illegal aliens are trafficking the drugs and if the federal government can be used to assist Oregon’s law enforcement.

225

Durbin

Talks about the methods used by Oregon law enforcement and how the relationship with the federal government is utilized.

253

Rep. Thatcher

Inquires about the inability of Oregon to enforce the immigration laws.

259

Durbin

Replies that this particular problem is facing the entire nation; it is not specific to Oregon.

270

Chair Burdick

Wonders if meth has always been made from pseudoephedrine.

273

Durbin

Responds that it has not always been created by pseudoephedrine; discusses the earlier methods of production (1970’s in California).

283

Rob Bovett

Legal Counsel, Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association.  Clarifies the methods and terms used in relation to meth production.

287

Chair Burdick

Asks if there are other methods, besides using pseudoephedrine, which might be employed to create new batches of meth.

299

Durbin

Replies that there is always the chance of another designer drug becoming available (from other base chemicals/materials). 

326

Durbin

Talks about the crystal form of meth.  Stresses that law enforcement is very scared of this particular form due to its effects on children (going from smoking cigarettes to smoking crystal meth is a small step).

339

Chair Burdick

Inquires if the meth is pre-made in Mexico and carried across the border.

340

Durbin

Responds yes.

348

Bovett

Submits testimony and testifies in support of HB 2485 with the proposed amendments (EXHIBHT F).  Talks about the latest student-produced/directed anti-meth commercials.

380

Bovett

States that Oregon ranks number 49 in treatment resources for meth addiction while ranking number 4 in meth addiction.  Talks about the problems with losing 45% of the narcotics officers because of budget problems over the past few years. 

419

Bovett

Discusses the legislative actions taken by the United States Congress (led by Oregon delegates) to combat meth.

440

Bovett

Continues his discussion on pseudoephedrine and the meth epidemic PowerPoint presentation.

TAPE 161, B

017

Bovett

Talks about the difference between the small “mom and pop” labs and the super labs.

035

Bovett

Comments on the urban myths relating to meth production only coming from certain types of pseudoephedrine products: it can come from any of them (liquid, tablet, gel caps, time-released, etc.).

062

Chair Burdick

Inquires if he is advocating for a total ban.

064

Bovett

Talks about his stance on the issue: there is no justification for treating any pseudoephedrine product any differently because they’re all being used to produce meth.

075

Chair Burdick

Brings up the issue of an allergy sufferer who lives 45 minutes away from the store.

078

Bovett

Discusses the problems and solution with such an issue.  Stresses that the entire Sudafed line is switching from pseudoephedrine to another, safer, chemical (meth is impossible to be derived from this product).

104

Bovett

Talks about the Methamphetamine Awareness Product (MAP) that produced the videos.

128

Bovett

Begins showing the different Meth videos.

176

Chair Burdick

Commends the students who created these great videos on meth prevention.

189

Rep. Arnie Roblan

House District 9.  Testifies on the meth epidemic issue.  Details his personal family story involving meth abuse. 

221

Rep. Roblan

Addresses section 9 of HB 2485 relating to the meth task force.  Talks about a recent large meth bust in his district (Highway 101).

274

Gary Schnabel

Executive Director, Oregon Board of Pharmacy.  Submits personal testimony, written testimony from Blake Rice, President of the Oregon Board of Pharmacy, and testifies in support of HB 2486 and SB 907 (EXHIBITS G & H).

330

Schnabel

Continues his discussion on the meth epidemic.  Talks about the most recent Board of Pharmacy meeting where liquid and gel cap pseudoephedrine production into meth was discussed.

372

Chair Burdick

Asks how long it would take to place all the products that could be used to produce meth behind the counter.

376

Schnabel

Replies that such an act could be done within a month or two but possibly even less if an emergency was declared.

381

Chair Burdick

Inquires if these new chemicals used in allergy and cough medications have fewer side effects than pseudoephedrine.

386

Schnabel

Replies yes.  Continues his testimony on the meth epidemic along with the Oregon Board of Pharmacy’s recommendations.

TAPE 162, B

022

Schnabel

Stresses that the Oregon Board of Pharmacy does not support a full ban, and lists the reasoning behind such a stance.  Declares that all chemicals should be treated the same by law (liquid, gel caps, etc.).

034

Sen. Walker

Explains her hesitance to support a total ban of these medications.  Asks about the different controlled substance schedules.

043

Schnabel

Details the scheduling system for controlled substances.  States that there is one meth drug on the market used for Attention Deficit Disorders.

071

Chair Burdick

Asks what schedule pseudoephedrine would be under.

073

Schnabel

Replies that the Board has not made a decision, but declares that it would be either a Schedule 2, 3, or 4.

088

Schnabel

Talks about Vicadin in the scheduling system.

121

Sen. Walker

Discusses the dangers of Vicadin.

111

Rep. Thatcher

Inquires about when these meth cooks might begin making their own pseudoephedrine.

130

Schnabel

Stresses that law enforcement has to keep up with the newer methods and address them as they arrive.  Declares that the newer chemicals cannot be converted to pseudoephedrine.

154

Nancy Miller

Deputy State Court Administrator, Oregon Judicial Department.  Submits testimony from Chief Justice Wallace P. Carson and testifies in support of SB 907 and HB 2485 (EXHIBIT I).  Talks about the drug courts and their usefulness in halting recidivism rates and the meth epidemic.

190

Miller

Continues reading the testimony from Chief Justice Wallace P. Carson on the necessity of the drug court system.

220

Sen. Walker

Talks about testimony from Ron Saxton who believes that Measure 11 should be applied to individuals who abuse meth.  Clarifies the idea that Drug Courts get people off drugs with over a 90% success rate.

239

Rep. Thatcher

Inquires about a perpetuating payment schedule for drug court graduates.

248

Miller

Dictates the importance of requiring as much payment as possible from drug court graduates who can afford to pay for it.

261

Craig Prins

Executive Director, Criminal Justice Commission (CJC).  Talks about the drug court grants that may become available.

292

Miller

Comments on page 23 of HB 2485 relating to the grant language.

316

Miller

Testifies in SB 907 relating to a court modifying parenting time if the parent is abusing an illegal substance.

339

Rep. Flores

Discusses past testimony relating to the asset forfeiture bills passing through the Legislature that would set aside funds for the courts system.

346

Miller

Relates that she is neutral on asset forfeiture.

353

Prins

Expresses support for the asset forfeiture legislation, and mentions that the CJC also serves as the asset forfeiture oversight committee.

390

Paul Snider

Association of Oregon Counties (AOC).  Testifies in conceptual support of the SB 907 and HB 2485 with amendments, though AOC has not been able to fully review the amendments.

454

Kevin Mannix

Attorney in Salem.  Testifies in support of SB 907 and HB 2485.  Stresses the importance of relief nurseries.

TAPE 163, A

020

Mannix

Talks about possible scenarios and methods that could assist the battle against meth.

049

Mannix

Argues for the hiring of 25 District Attorneys whose main purpose is to attack the meth epidemic by being sworn in as Special Assistant US Attorneys who can prosecute in federal courts.

070

Sen. Walker

Declares her support for the idea of taking those 25 District Attorneys and swearing them as Assistant United State Attorneys in order to access resources.

084

Mannix

Urges the committee to not wait for federal money but instead demand the money from the general funding.

096

Sen. Whitsett

Argues that this state government has a budget of 12.4 billion and such a small figure cited by the witness ($5 million) is easily accomplished.

115

Mannix

Talks about the difficulties in preventing the meth epidemic from spreading.

130

Rep. Barker

Wonders how the federal government would agree to take these cases.

137

Mannix

Replies that the personnel would be provided by the state and how the federal government would like that aspect.

151

Sen. Whitsett

Talks about how the rural District Attorneys have been utilizing federal resources for prosecution.

169

John Hummel

Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.  Submits testimony and testifies in a neutral stance on both SB 907 and HB 2485 (EXHIBIT J).  Declares their support for the bills as drafted.

210

Hummel

Continues his discussion on meth prevention and the epidemic.

240

Hummel

Comments on the effectiveness of the drug court system.

278

Heidi Moawad

Counsel.  Talks about the precursor substance issue in the bill and the possibility of including drafting that would seek to address children inside the home of a meth abuser.

301

Hummel

States that they would support such an amendment.  Goes on to discuss their support for the enhanced penalties in the bill.

330

Hummel

Stresses that there is no evidence to suggest that enhanced sentencing reduces recidivism.

375

Hummel

Talks about the legal drafting problem where, if a first time offender separates meth in any fashion (placing a scoop in another bag), then they have just committed the act of manufacturing meth.

TAPE 164, A

011

Chair McPherson

Inquires about the repackaging element of the drafting.

017

Moawad

States that the repackaging aspect of the drafting was meant to deal with situations where chemical reactions had taken place. 

031

Rep. Flores

Comments on the use of food stamps to barter for meth products.

041

Hummel

Stresses that if someone commits theft, they should suffer the consequences of such an action, but that food should not be denied to them.

049

Rep. Flores

Wonders about the balance between punishment and making sure these people can still get food.

060

Hummel

Talks about the possible punishments for dealers who have the food stamps/Oregon Trail Cards in their possession.

071

Rep. Wirth

Comments on the high rate of meth use by women.

082

Hummel

Discusses the possibility of taking children away from addicted mothers, and how they struggle to find methods of weaning the women off meth without taking their children.

105

Rep. Wirth

Continues her analysis of women who are being affected by the meth epidemic: stresses the need for advanced methods of attacking the problem.

128

Hummel

Discloses the importance of battling the meth addiction primarily before any headway can be made in other programs.

153

Rep. Wirth

Inquires about the numbers of women in drug courts as opposed to men.

165

Hummel

Comments on drug courts for women and mothers.

182

Rep. Shields

House District 43.  Testifies in support of SB 907 and HB 2485.

220

Rep. Shields

Continues his discussion on the meth epidemic.

250

Andrea Meyer

American Civil Liberties Union.  Testifies on their concerns on HB 2485. 

290

Meyer

Continues her discussion relating to their hesitance to support a bill where personal and legal information is contained of Oregonians.

308

Chair Burdick

Inquires about the possibility of pseudoephedrine becoming prescription only.

316

Meyer

Replies that such an action would alleviate their concerns.  Goes on to discuss protected health information.

357

Chair Burdick

Asks about limiting the language to focus on protecting the information from being used or abused.

363

Meyer

Responds that such an action would help.

374

Chair Krieger

Desires a write up from the witness that would address their concerns.

392

Moawad

Talks about Legislative Counsel’s expertise on this issue.

412

Meyer

Argues for notification if such information was accessed.

422

Rep. Wirth

Inquires about homes where meth was being manufactured or used, un-known, by the owners.

440

Meyer

States that there would be concerns due to the broad wording of the bills.

TAPE  163, B

007

Sarah Vasche

Corvallis, allergy sufferer.  Testifies in complete opposition to any ban on pseudoephedrine.  Stresses that the alternative medications put her to sleep.

037

Tina Kotek

Children First for Oregon.  Testifies in a neutral stance on HB 2485. 

063

Sybil Hebb

Oregon Law Center.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of HB 907 (EXHIBIT K).  Talks about the concerns that the Oregon Law Center may have with the bill relating to judicial discretion on controlled substances and other areas (desires clarity on this aspect of the bill).

095

Hebb

Continues the discussion on the importance of contact to remain between parents and children embroiled in the meth epidemic.

115

Rep. Debra Boone

House District 32.  Commends the two committees on their work with the meth epidemic. 

145

Angela Martin

Oregon Food Bank.  Submits a study on hunger, written testimony, and testifies in opposition to HB 2485 (EXHIBITS L & M).

190

Martin

Continues reading testimony in opposition to HB 2485.

233

Rep. Thatcher

Talks about the limitations of suspending food stamps to individuals who break the law.  Stresses that she does not see this as a denial of food.

251

Martin

Talks about the penalties already in place dealing with fraudulent activities involving the use of food stamps.

272

Ellen Lowe

Legislative Advocate, Oregon Food Bank.  Submits the federal and state regulations on food stamps (EXHIBITS N & O) and testifies in opposition to HB 2485.

322

Lowe

Talks about the lack of treatment options discussed with meth addicts: stresses the need for better communication among all levels.

365

Lowe

Mentions the importance of community and family support for those suffering from the meth epidemic.  Stresses that Oregon is number 49 in prevention availability.

429

Rep. Flores

Inquires about the report handed in by Judge Larson in a previous hearing.

TAPE 164, B

014

Lowe

Talks about the report dealing with meth introduced in a previous hearing.

028

Rep. Wirth

Inquires about how big of an impact this bill would have on the food stamp program.

043

Martin

Talks about the food stamp program.

055

Rep. Wirth

Wonders about the scope of the problem.

063

Martin

Stresses that the trading of food stamps for meth products has not been shown, through evidence, as a major problem.

071

Lowe

Discusses the food stamp program in the state.

097

Sandra Pleasant

Washington County, past meth-addict.  Testifies in opposition to HB 2485.  Tells her personal story involving the use of meth and other drugs.

140

Pleasant

Continues her personal story of drug addiction.

162

Cindy Finch

Mother of 6 children, past meth-addict.  Testifies in opposition to HB 2485.  Stresses the importance of treatment in cleaning meth from your life.

186

Rep. Wirth

Asks about documentation or proof that would prove someone used their food stamps for legal purposes as opposed to using the stamps for substance abuse (meth materials, etc.).

198

Finch

Declares that receipts can be used for such things fairly easily.

212

Chair Krieger

Raises some concerns over children being placed in recovery for meth usage.

238

Pleasant

Addresses the cons resulting from taking food stamps from meth addicts.

254

Rep. Flores

Asks about the witnesses personal stories about being in treatment choices.

268

Finch

States that she was forced into treatment and wasn’t offered too many choices.  Talks about the long waiting lists.

282

Pleasant

Discusses her personal story involving treatment for meth abuse.

300

Chair Krieger

Adjourns the meeting at 4:50 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. SB 907, written testimony, Bruce Bishop, 2 pp
  2. HB 2485, written testimony, Bruce Bishop, 2 pp
  3. HB 2485, written testimony, Hardy Meyers, 5 pp
  4. SB 907, written testimony, Una Swanson, 1 p
  5. HB 2485 & SB 907, written testimony, Craig Durbin, 12 pp
  6. HB 2485 & SB 907, written testimony, Rob Bovett, 32 pp
  7. HB 2485 & SB 907, written testimony, Gary Schnabel, 2 pp
  8. HB 2485 & SB 907, written testimony, Gary Schnabel, 1 p
  9. HB 2485 & SB 907, written testimony, Nancy Miller, 2 pp
  10. HB 2485 & SB 907, written testimony, John Hummel, 4 pp
  11. SB 907, written testimony, Sybil Hebb, 3 pp
  12. HB 2485 & SB 907, Study on hunger, Angela Martin, 19 pp
  13. HB 2485, written testimony, Angela Martin, 1 p
  14. HB 2485 & SB 907, Food Stamp Act, Ellen Lowe, 2 pp
  15. HB 2485 & SB 907, Federal Food Stamp Statute, Ellen Lowe, 2 pp