DHS news release
This news release was issued by the Oregon governor's office.
October 1, 2004
Media Contacts: Marian Hammond, 503-378-6169; Anna Richter Taylor, 503-378-6496
Governor Kulongoski Directs Board of Pharmacy to Restrict Access to Meth
Ingredients; Announces Task Force Recommendations to Crush Meth
(Salem, Ore.) - Governor Ted Kulongoski today announced that he has asked
the Oregon Board of Pharmacy to enact an emergency administrative rule
restricting the sales of Pseudoephedrine and Ephedrine, key ingredients used
in making Methamphetamine. The governor made the announcement in a press
conference with Attorney General Hardy Myers and Salem Chief of Police
Walter Myers, where he reported on the key recommendations of his
Methamphetamine Task Force.
" When I became governor, I made a pledge to keep Oregon's children healthy
and safe, but the Methamphetamine epidemic is tearing our families apart and
threatening our children's lives," said Governor Kulongoski. "Clearly, in
order to keep children safe, we must stop the Meth epidemic in Oregon."
In Oregon, Methamphetamine use is currently a factor in more than 85% of
property and identity theft crimes, and is a major contributor to violent
crimes. Methamphetamine use and production is also the single biggest factor
that leads to the removal of Oregon children from their homes and placed in
long-term foster care.
Unlike drugs like heroin and cocaine, Meth is a "make-it-yourself" drug that
can be manufactured by amateurs using everyday ingredients found on the
shelves in grocery stores. The primary ingredient in Meth is Ephedrine or
Pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in Sudafed and other over-the-counter
At the press conference, the governor announced that he has requested the
Oregon Board of Pharmacy to enact an emergency administrative rule requiring
the sales of Pseudoephedrine and Ephedrine to be conducted only behind a
secured counter, such as the pharmacy counter at grocery stores. It will
require purchasers to show identification and that vendors keep records of
each sale. This temporary rule will be in effect for 180 days; the governor
announced that he will work with legislators during the next legislative
session to make the rule permanent.
" I want all retailers who currently sell Pseudoephedrine products to be able
to continue to sell these products - but in a secured fashion that prevents
would-be Meth cooks from endangering Oregon's children," said the governor.
In February, the governor appointed a Public Safety Review Steering
Committee, led by Attorney General Myers, to conduct a complete review of
the public safety system. Part of this effort included the appointment of
Salem Police Chief Walt Myers to lead a task force of experts to study the
Methamphetamine problem in Oregon. The governor directed this task force
specifically to deliver a comprehensive and concrete set of recommendations
for how to combat Methamphetamine in three areas: production, distribution,
"This is a problem that cannot be solved by law enforcement alone. If we are
to crush Meth in Oregon, we need to lock up those who produce it - and treat
those who use it," continued Governor Kulongoski. "We need to prevent
dealers from attracting new users, and we need to enlist the help of
communities all across Oregon to make it clear that we simply do not
tolerate Meth in Oregon."
The task force organized into subcommittees to target efforts in five key
areas: Community Involvement; Law Enforcement/Precursors; Treatment;
Children Well-Being; and Rehabilitation. Some of the recommendations will
require legislative action, while others can be implemented through
administrative action. The governor announced his plan to develop a
legislative package to introduce next session, which will include:
• Forming a Statewide Meth Chemical, Lab Investigation
and Prosecution Team;
• Designating a new criminal offense with an increased
penalty for Meth producers where there is evidence that a child has been
living where the Meth is being produced;
• Prioritizing drug treatment for those Meth offenders
who need it most - pregnant offenders, children, parents and others whose
addiction severely impacts the lives of others or society; and
• Creating a new Oregon Trail Card with an imprinted
photo and name of the user on the card to prevent the cards from being used
to subsidize Meth habits and Meth production.
Other task force recommendations do not require legislation. In addition to
his direction to the Board of Pharmacy, the governor announced additional
administrative initiatives underway. The governor is creating Drug
Endangered Children Teams throughout the state to make sure children who are
in Meth houses are given proper treatment and that they receive the care and
support that they need to grow up healthy and happy. In addition, in
collaboration with the University of Oregon School of Journalism, the
governor's office is developing a prevention strategy for use in schools to
keep children from using Meth and a toolkit with the Oregon Partnership to
make available to local organizations to use in their efforts to fight Meth
in their own communities.
The final recommendations of the governor's Meth Task Force will be included
in the comprehensive public safety review report, scheduled to be released
in late October.
"This is one of the greatest public safety challenges our state has ever
faced, and it is going to take all of us to crush Meth and keep Oregon
children, families and communities safe," said the governor.
For a list of members of the Methamphetamine Task Force visit: