OKLAHOMA CITY — The "drug czar" of America presented an award last week to State Rep. Paul Roan for his efforts to eliminate methamphetamine production and use in Oklahoma.

"I am proud to have served and helped pass this monumental legislation," said Roan, who served on the Oklahoma Highway Patrol for more than 25 years. "Oklahoma has become the standard for dealing with meth production. Drug producers and dealers have learned they won't find refuge here."

Roan received the Director's Award for Distinguished Service last week from John P. Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, who was in Oklahoma to laud the state's passage of several bills to eliminate methamphetamine production that have become the model for the rest of the nation and several foreign countries, as well.

Roan served as chair of the 2003 task force formed to study the meth production problem in Oklahoma. He also chaired the former House Criminal Justice Committee, which first heard House Bill 2176 in 2004. Roan's committee cleared HB 2176, which was eventually signed into law and has effectively eliminated methamphetamine production in the state.

The bill requires that all products contain pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the production of meth, are placed behind pharmacy counters and requires customers to show identification upon purchase. Another provision of that act allows judges to deny bond to chronic meth offenders.

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control reports that meth lab seizures have been reduced from an average of 104 each month prior to HB 2176 taking effect to just two each month since its passage. At least 37 other states have implemented plans modeled after Oklahoma's plan, said Roan.

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