Bryan Cohen May 23, 2013, 6:06pm

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan congratulated the state Senate after it unanimously passed a bill to prevent pill shoppers from buying pseudoephedrine and providing it to methamphetamine criminals.

Under current law, convicted meth manufacturers are banned from buying pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, which contain a key ingredient for meth. The meth cooks may turn to pill shoppers to purchase pills on their behalf.

House Bill 806 would amend the Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act by making it illegal for individuals to knowingly buy pseudoephedrine or ephedrine on behalf of convicted meth manufacturers. The legislation would make pill shopping a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 4 felony for subsequent convictions.

"The bill gives law enforcement a necessary tool to prosecute 'pill shoppers' who are paid to evade the laws that are designed to prevent convicted meth cooks from accessing pseudoephedrine to manufacture this deadly drug," Madigan said.

Members of the Illinois Senate voted 57-0 to send the bill to the governor's desk. The Illinois House passed the bill unanimously in April.

Madigan emphasized that the law would not impact lawful buyers of pseudoephedrine and that they will still be able to obtain pseudoephedrine-based medications within the current limits of Illinois law.

Madigan's office has made combatting the scourge of meth use and production in Illinois a high priority. Her office helped to pass the 2006 Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act to crack down on the sale of pseudoephedrine and toughen penalties for individuals convicted of meth-related offenses.

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