Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (09/17/1996)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Importation of Methamphetamine and Precursor

Chemicals

Title II: Provisions to Control the Manufacture of

Methamphetamine

Title III: Increased Penalties for Trafficking and

Manufacture of Methamphetamine and Precursors

Title IV: Legal Manufacture, Distribution, and Sale of

Precursor Chemicals

Title V: Education and Research

Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act of 1996 - Title I: Importation of Methamphetamine and Precursor Chemicals - Directs the Attorney General to coordinate international drug enforcement efforts to decrease the movement of methamphetamine and methamphetamine precursors into the United States.

(Sec. 102) Amends the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (CSIEA) to: (1) make specified prohibitions against the possession, manufacture, or distribution for purposes of unlawful importation of a schedule I or II controlled substance applicable to a listed chemical; and (2) set penalties of a fine and ten years' imprisonment for manufacturing, possessing with intent to distribute, or distributing a listed chemical in violation of such prohibitions.

Title II: Provisions to Control the Manufacture of Methamphetamine - Amends the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to: (1) include chemicals within the scope of provisions regarding penalties for simple possession; and (2) prohibit knowingly or intentionally possessing a list I chemical obtained pursuant to or under authority of a registration that has expired or that has been revoked or suspended or if the registrant has ceased to do business in the manner contemplated by his registration. Amends the CSA and the Tariff Act of 1930 to permit the seizure and forfeiture of list I chemicals involved in illegal trafficking.

(Sec. 202) Directs: (1) the Attorney General to study and report to the Congress on measures to prevent the diversion of agents used in methamphetamine production; and (2) the United States Sentencing Commission (the Commission) to amend the sentencing guidelines to ensure that the manufacture of methamphetamine in violation of the CSA is treated as a significant violation.

(Sec. 203) Amends the CSA to increase penalties for the manufacture and possession of equipment used to make controlled substances.

(Sec. 204) Adds iodine and hydrochloric gas to list II chemicals, but excludes iodine from specified requirements for listed chemicals under the CSIEA.

(Sec. 205) Prohibits distributing a laboratory supply to a person who uses it to manufacture a controlled substance or a listed chemical in violation of the CSA with reckless disregard for the illegal uses to which such supply will be put. Creates a rebuttable presumption of reckless disregard if: (1) the Attorney General notifies a firm in writing that a laboratory supply sold by the firm or any other person or firm has been used by a customer of the notified firm, or distributed further by that customer, for the unlawful production of controlled substances or listed chemicals a firm distributes; and (2) two weeks or more after the notification the notified firm distributes a laboratory supply to the customer. Sets civil penalties for businesses that violate such provision.

(Sec. 206) Amends the CSA to enjoin anyone convicted of specified felony violations relating to the manufacture and exportation of a listed chemical from engaging in a transaction involving a listed chemical for up to ten years. (Current law covers only "receipt, distribution, or importation" of a listed chemical and bars violators from engaging in such a "regulated" transaction for that period.) Authorizes the Attorney General to commence a civil action for appropriate declaratory or injunctive relief, subject to specified requirements.

(Sec. 207) Authorizes the court, when sentencing a defendant convicted of specified CSA offenses involving the manufacture of methamphetamine, to order restitution and reimbursement by the defendant for costs incurred by the United States for the associated cleanup.

(Sec. 208) Modifies the CSA to require each regulated person to keep a record of each regulated transaction involving a listed chemical, a tableting machine, or an encapsulating machine for two years.

(Sec. 210) Makes ineffective the final rule concerning removal of exemption for certain pseudoephedrine products marketed under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, published in the Federal Register of August 7, 1996.

Title III: Increased Penalties for Trafficking and Manufacture of Methamphetamine and Precursors - Directs the Commission to: (1) review and amend its guidelines and policy statements to provide for increased penalties for unlawful manufacturing, importing, exporting, and trafficking of methamphetamine and other similar offenses; and (2) submit to the Congress explanations therefor and any additional policy recommendations for combating methamphetamine offenses.

(Sec. 302) Amends the CSA and the CSIEA to increase penalties for trafficking in methamphetamine and list I chemicals. Directs the Commission to amend the sentencing guidelines to increase by at least two levels the offense level for offenses involving list I chemicals under specified CSA and CSIEA provisions, ensuring that such levels are calculated proportionally based on the quantity of controlled substance that reasonably could have been manufactured in a clandestine setting using the quantity of the list I chemical possessed, distributed, imported, or exported.

(Sec. 303) Directs the Commission to determine whether the sentencing guidelines adequately punish specified offenses relating to the handling of hazardous waste and related issues under the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, and Federal transportation provisions, and, if not, to promulgate or amend existing guidelines to enhance the punishment for a defendant convicted of such offense.

Title IV: Legal Manufacture, Distribution, and Sale of Precursor Chemicals - Amends the CSA to provide for the regulation of pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine, subject to specified limitations.

Specifies that any sale of: (1) ordinary over-the-counter pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine products by retailed distributors shall not be a regulated transaction, with exceptions; and (2) other products containing pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine by retail distributors shall not be a regulated transaction if the distributor's sales are limited to less than the threshold quantity of 24 grams of pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine in each single transaction. Modifies the definition of "retail distributor" to mean a grocery, general merchandise, drug store, or other entity or person whose activities as a distributor relating to pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine products are limited almost exclusively to sales for personal use, both in number and volume of sales, either directly to walk-in customers or in face-to-face transactions by direct sales.

Directs the Attorney General to reinstate an exemption with respect to a particular ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine drug product upon determining that such product is manufactured and distributed in a manner that prevents diversion.

Authorizes the Attorney General to establish single-transaction limits of 24 grams of pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine base for retail distributors, subject to specified conditions. Sets penalties for violations.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) isolated or infrequent use, or use in insubstantial quantities, of ordinary over-the counter pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine sold at the retail level for the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine or amphetamine; and (2) combination ephedrine products. Directs the Attorney General to report to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees regarding the factual basis for establishing any new single transaction limits.

(Sec. 402) Requires each regulated person who engages in a transaction with a non-regulated person which involves ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine (including drug products containing these chemicals) and which uses or attempts to use the Postal Service or any private or commercial carrier, to submit monthly reports of such transactions to the Attorney General.

Title V: Education and Research - Establishes a Methamphetamine Interagency Task Force.

(Sec. 502) Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a public health monitoring program to monitor methamphetamine abuse in the United States.

(Sec. 503) Requires the Attorney General to: (1) establish an advisory panel consisting of an appropriate number of representatives from Federal, State, and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies with experience in investigating and prosecuting illegal transactions of precursor chemicals; (2) continue specified current efforts; and (3) establish a Suspicious Orders Task Force.