DEATH * BY * METH

This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Monday, February 06, 2006

House passes two meth-related measures (New Mexico)

http://www.daily-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060205/NEWS01/602050301/1001

By Nathan Gonzalez Santa Fe Bureau
February 5, 2006

SANTA FE -- A bill that would make it a first-degree felony to traffic methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school has gained the full support of House lawmakers, who passed the legislation in a 59-0 vote Saturday.

Also Saturday, the House passed a second bill to control the sale of over-the-counter decongestant cold medications, which are used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

House Bill 179, sponsored by Rep. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, prohibits the possession, distribution and sale of methamphetamine, its salts and isomers, within a Drug-Free School Zone of any private, public or parochial school.

If passed by the Senate and signed by Gov. Bill Richardson, the law would go into effect July 1.

"(House) members are serious about addressing the meth problem," said Rep. Daniel Foley, R-Roswell. "From the outcome of that vote, we are unified about addressing the meth problems in the state of New Mexico."

Under the bill, a person arrested on a first offense would be charged with a third-degree felony. Second and subsequent offenses would then become a second-degree felony punishable by up to nine years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

However, the bill allows for a person arrested within a drug-free school zone, regardless of the number of previous offenses, to be charged with a first-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 18 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine.

In his State of the State Address declaring the legislative session "the year of the child," Gov. Bill Richardson outlined several directives aimed at combating meth within the state.

"Meth is one of the fastest growing threats to our kids," Richardson said at the time. "It's a public safety problem, a health problem and an economic problem."

The second bill, controlling the sale of cold medications, was passed over the objections of House Republicans who said the bill will not stop the production of meth but will inconvenience those looking to buy cold medications for legal purposes.

House Bill 211, sponsored by Rep. John Heaton, D-Carlsbad, would amend the Controlled Substances Act to include pseudoephedrine and require pharmacists to record the date, quantity and name of any customer that purchases the product.

The bill cleared the House on a 42-20 vote and now heads to the Senate.

Heaton said restricting the access to products used to manufacture meth is key to combating a growing "scourge" in the state.

"This bill works to get the drug off the street that's affecting our children and society so negatively," Heaton said, adding that 33 percent of all children placed into state custody through the Children, Youth and Families Department are meth-related cases.

The bill would require all medications such as Sudafed, Triaminic cough syrups and infant decongestants by Dimetapp and PediaCure, which all contain the substance pseudoephedrine, to be placed behind the counter and tracked by licensed pharmacists.

A customer would have to surrender their name and driver's license number, which would then be logged along with the pharmacist's name. Purchases would be limited to nine grams in a 30-day period for those without a valid prescription and would go into effect July 1.

"(This bill) is not allowing people full access of this medication deemed safe by the FDA," said Rep. Keith Gardner, R-Roswell. "I do support restricting access, but we don't need to put it in the hands of a pharmacist."

The bills are HB179 and HB211, and can be read on the Internet at legis.state.nm.us.

Nathan Gonzalez: ngonzalez@daily-times.com

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