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Drugs: Methamphetamine

Volume 684: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine causes environmental and pollution problems; and, if so, what are those problems.[HL6583]

Illegal manufacture of methamphetamine in so-called “illicit laboratories” carries with it risks of fire, explosion and chemical leakage. As such, implicit in the process are certain environmental hazards relating to exposure to toxic chemicals and exposure to fire or explosion. Anecdotal evidence from the USA suggests that the cost for law enforcement agencies of clearing up an illicit laboratory is high due to the requirement for protective clothing and decontamination equipment.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), which advises the Government on issues of drug misuse in the UK, has recently recommended that methamphetamine be reclassified as a class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. We have accepted the recommendation. Its status as a class A drug will enable law enforcement agencies to take a more proactive stance against this dangerous drug.