Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 120

02/09/2005 01:00 PM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 81 CONTRACTOR LICENSE ENFORCEMENT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 81(L&C) Out of Committee
*+ HB 99 CRIMES INVOLVING CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 99(JUD) Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
HB 99 - CRIMES INVOLVING CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:57:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  announced that the  final order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL  NO. 99, "An Act relating  to controlled substances                                                               
regarding the crimes of manslaughter,  endangering the welfare of                                                               
a  child, and  misconduct involving  a controlled  substance; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:58:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CATHY  BALDWIN-JOHNSON,  M.D.,  relayed  that  she  is  a  family                                                               
physician  in  Wasilla,  works for  Providence  Matanuska  Health                                                               
Care, and  is the volunteer  medical director for  The Children's                                                               
Place, a  children's advocacy center  in the "valley."   She said                                                               
that  her  interest in  and  concerns  about methamphetamine  are                                                               
related  to  the impact  it  has  on  children.   The  number  of                                                               
methamphetamine  laboratories ("labs")  is rapidly  increasing in                                                               
Alaska,  especially in  the Matanuska-Susitna  ("Mat-Su") valley.                                                               
When  people manufacture  methamphetamine in  their homes,  there                                                               
are many  hazards and  risks with the  parent chemicals  that are                                                               
being used, with  the manufacturing process itself,  and with the                                                               
final  drug  product;  additionally,   it  is  very  common  that                                                               
children are in these homes.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON  said that it  is known that  substance abuse                                                               
either causes  or exacerbates at  least 7-10 case of  child abuse                                                               
and  neglect [yearly]  and, with  methamphetamine in  particular,                                                               
there are  significant [risks]  for children,  including injuries                                                               
from the  chemicals used  in manufacturing  and from  the needles                                                               
which  surrounding  adults  use  to inject  themselves,  and  the                                                               
diversion of resources because parents  are spending all of their                                                               
time, energy,  and money on  methamphetamine and  the manufacture                                                               
of methamphetamine  instead of on  buying food and  clothing, and                                                               
otherwise  providing  for  their  children's needs.    There  are                                                               
problems with  attachment to  their children  if the  parents are                                                               
spending all their  time indulging in substance  abuse, there are                                                               
environmental  dangers,  and  children are  exposed  to  criminal                                                               
behavior and to a lot of strange  people coming in and out of the                                                               
home to buy methamphetamine.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON  said that methamphetamine use  is associated                                                               
with  escalated levels  of violence,  with pornography,  and with                                                               
sexual   aggression,  none   of   which   constitute  a   healthy                                                               
environment  for  children.   Some  specific  risks  to  children                                                               
include organ  damage -  studies in other  state have  shown that                                                               
these  children  suffer from  kidney,  liver,  spleen, and  brain                                                               
damage,  the  latter  of which  sometimes  results  in  permanent                                                               
aggressive behavior  - and the  inability of their parents  to be                                                               
good parents because they also suffer  from brain damage.  When a                                                               
parent  use  methamphetamine  during  pregnancy,  it  presents  a                                                               
significant  risk to  the unborn  child,  including death,  birth                                                               
defects,  and irreversible  brain  damage; the  latter effect  is                                                               
measurable once the child hits grade school.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON said  that a 2003 youth  risk behavior survey                                                               
showed that  6 percent of  Alaskan high school  students admitted                                                               
to using  methamphetamine at least once.   High school is  a time                                                               
when  adolescent  brains  are  undergoing a  lot  of  change  and                                                               
growth, so  it's a really  vulnerable time for these  children to                                                               
get  hooked on  methamphetamine.   Nationally, somewhere  between                                                               
30-50 percent  of home methamphetamine labs  have children living                                                               
in them,  and in  the Mat-Su valley,  the unofficial  count, from                                                               
"our drug  team there," is  significantly higher,  perhaps closer                                                               
to 75 percent.  A really  frightening statistic from the Lower 48                                                               
shows  that  80  percent  of  children taken  out  of  an  active                                                               
methamphetamine lab  will test positive for  methamphetamine if a                                                               
urine drug  screen is performed  within two  hours.  This  is not                                                               
because  two-year-olds, for  example, are  using methamphetamine;                                                               
instead, it's  because methamphetamine  is in  their environment:                                                               
it's on the  floors where they crawl, it's on  the food that they                                                               
eat, it's in  the refrigerator right next  to beverage containers                                                               
from which they drink, it's in the air that they breath.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:03:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON   pointed  out  that  in   addition  to  the                                                               
aforementioned  exposure risks,  children are  also at  risk from                                                               
fires and  explosions because such are  common in methamphetamine                                                               
labs due  to the dangers  involved in the  manufacturing process.                                                               
Also, children  are often neglected  and abused by  their parents                                                               
and the various people who are  coming in and out of their homes.                                                               
Children  are more  vulnerable to  the  environmental hazards  of                                                               
methamphetamine because,  in relation  to body weight,  they have                                                               
more skin surface, they breath more  air, they eat more food, and                                                               
they  drink  more  water  than  adults;  also,  children's  organ                                                               
systems are immature and thus  more easily damaged by exposure to                                                               
methamphetamine   and   the   parent  chemicals   used   in   its                                                               
manufacture.  She  noted that a national  organization has looked                                                               
at  model state  drug  laws and  has found  that  with regard  to                                                               
methamphetamine  and  the  children  exposed to  it,  Alaska  has                                                               
lenient  drug  laws  compared  to   other  western  states.    In                                                               
conclusion, she said she is  absolutely in favor of anything that                                                               
will help  keep children  safe from  what she  surmised to  be an                                                               
increasing  problem   in  Alaska   -  [methamphetamine   use  and                                                               
manufacture].                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:04:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  asked Dr.  Baldwin-Johnson whether  HB 99                                                               
is  significantly  different  from  laws  in  other  states,  and                                                               
whether  she   has  any  further  recommendations   for  proposed                                                               
changes.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON   replied  that   she  would  like   to  see                                                               
significantly  stiffer  penalties  for people  that  manufacturer                                                               
methamphetamine  around  children, and  would  like  to see  such                                                               
behavior  classified as  a type  of child  abuse and  have it  be                                                               
escalated to a  higher level of child endangerment  offense.  She                                                               
offered her  understanding that the  bill provides for a  class C                                                               
felony if one is convicted  of manufacturing methamphetamine in a                                                               
building inhabited by children.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL referred to the  portion of the bill which                                                               
provides  that a  person could  be charged  with manslaughter  if                                                               
someone  dies  as  a  result   of  the  person  manufacturing  or                                                               
delivering a controlled substance in violation of AS 11.71.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON  opined  that  Alaska  law  needs  something                                                               
[similar]  for   children  who  are   actually  in   homes  where                                                               
methamphetamine is  being manufactured,  not just for  those that                                                               
die.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL mentioned  that  he is  seeking input  on                                                               
these issues for a bill he is working on.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:06:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ED   BRYANT,  Detective,   Anchorage  Police   Department  (APD),                                                               
Municipality  of  Anchorage  (MOA),  relayed  that  he  has  been                                                               
assigned to the  drug unit for about nine years,  and so has seen                                                               
the rise  in methamphetamine production.   He said he  would echo                                                               
Dr. Baldwin-Johnson's  comments regarding the damage  to children                                                               
caused by  exposure to methamphetamine  and its manufacture.   As                                                               
currently  proposed,  the  bill   is  certainly  needed  for  the                                                               
protection of  children and the  general public.  He  offered the                                                               
following example:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     [On] January 19 [2005],  we took down a methamphetamine                                                                    
     lab  in Anchorage  in a  multiunit apartment  building.                                                                    
     Even being  outside the building there  was evidence of                                                                    
     the methamphetamine  production because the  acid gases                                                                    
     that were produced in the lab  came out of the vent and                                                                    
     actually discolored  and damaged the exterior  of home.                                                                    
     The inside  of the home  was a light yellow  color, all                                                                    
     of the  walls were  [a] light  yellow color,  except in                                                                    
     the very  corners where the  iodine and  other chemical                                                                    
     fumes wouldn't settle because of  the dead air space in                                                                    
     the very  corners.  Inside  this home was  an eighteen-                                                                    
     month-old child.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BRYANT noted  that currently, if someone is [19  years of age                                                               
or  older], AS  11.71.010  provides that  it  is an  unclassified                                                               
felony for  delivering a schedule  IA or schedule  IIA controlled                                                               
substance to a person, under the age  of 19, who is three or more                                                               
years  younger.    The  bill,  however,  addresses  circumstances                                                               
involving people - namely children  inside these labs - who don't                                                               
have the option of refraining  from exposure to these substances.                                                               
Why, he asked, would the  penalty for manufacturing or attempting                                                               
to  manufacture methamphetamine  in a  residence where  there are                                                               
children  be  any  less  severe  than that  provided  for  in  AS                                                               
11.71.010.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. BRYANT  noted that there  has been a  lot of research  on the                                                               
dangers of manufacturing methamphetamine,  including a study done                                                               
by the  National Jewish Medical  and Research Center  in Colorado                                                               
in  which  methamphetamine  "cooks"  were  carried  out  in  very                                                               
controlled  circumstances in  16  different locations,  including                                                               
residences, to  find out what  the residual amounts were  of both                                                               
the controlled  substances and the accompanying  toxic substances                                                               
used in  their production.   That study showed  conclusively that                                                               
methamphetamine and  iodine residue  can be found  throughout the                                                               
house  in which  methamphetamine  is manufactured,  and that  the                                                               
other accompanying toxic chemicals,  which are very volatile, can                                                               
generally be found  in the location where  the processing occurs;                                                               
thus   children  in   such  locations   are   being  exposed   to                                                               
methamphetamine.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BRYANT  noted that one  of the reasons  for methamphetamine's                                                               
prevalent use is  that it makes people feel  really, really good.                                                               
This  is  because  it  causes   the  transmitters  for  two  very                                                               
important brain chemicals - dopamine  and serotonin - to fire all                                                               
at   once,  resulting   in  an   extreme   amount  of   euphoria.                                                               
Unfortunately, it  also results  in the  destruction of  both the                                                               
transmitters and receptors of these  chemicals in the brain; this                                                               
is  part of  the  brain  damage spoken  of  earlier.   Those  two                                                               
chemicals are what allow people  to experience everyday pleasures                                                               
and regulate moods; they are  essentially what keep humans within                                                               
the  bounds  of  societal  norms with  regard  to  non-aggressive                                                               
behavior  and  being  able  to  cope  with  and  solve  different                                                               
problems.   The people who  use methamphetamine or  are subjected                                                               
to it,  as in the  case of children living  where methamphetamine                                                               
is being manufactured, will suffer this brain damage.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BRYANT, in  conclusion,  relayed  that he  is  very much  in                                                               
support  of  HB 99,  and  is  very  passionate about  this  issue                                                               
because  he  has seen  the  effects  of methamphetamine  use  and                                                               
exposure.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:12:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  referred to  Section 5,  paragraph (5),                                                               
and  asked why  the language  stipulates, "methamphetamine  in an                                                             
organic solution".                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BRYANT  said that  such  a  solution  is  a product  of  the                                                               
reaction  and  results  from  the   next  to  the  last  step  in                                                               
manufacturing;  he noted  that the  phrase  used in  the bill  is                                                               
inclusive.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  mentioned   that  AS  11.81.900(b)(22)                                                               
defines  "dwelling"  as,  "dwelling"  means a  building  that  is                                                               
designed for use or is used  as a person's permanent or temporary                                                               
home  or  place of  lodging".    He  asked whether  the  language                                                               
currently  located on  page 3,  lines  3-4, which  says in  part,                                                               
"with reckless disregard that the  building is a dwelling for one                                                               
or more  children", should be  changed to  say the building  is a                                                               
"current dwelling".                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  pointed  out  that   the  language  says,  "is  a                                                               
dwelling", and suggested that that  phrase will be interpreted to                                                               
mean,  "current dwelling."   She  acknowledged, however,  that if                                                               
there are  concerns regarding this  issue, the language  could be                                                               
changed to say, "is currently a dwelling".                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:17:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDERSON -  noting  that lines  22-26  of page  2                                                               
address  the issue  of apartment  complexes  and other  buildings                                                               
consisting of  separate units -  indicated that if  one apartment                                                               
in an apartment  complex is being used as  a methamphetamine lab,                                                               
even  though  there   may  not  be  children   residing  in  that                                                               
particular  apartment,  the  hazardous   effects  and  risks  are                                                               
present for  everyone living  in the  rest of  the building.   He                                                               
also  indicated  that   he  is  in  favor   of  strict  penalties                                                               
regardless of whether  the building or a unit in  the building is                                                               
currently being used as a dwelling for children.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BRYANT concurred,  and offered  an example  of an  explosion                                                               
occurring in  methamphetamine lab located  in one unit of  a six-                                                               
unit  apartment complex  - the  explosion was  so severe  that it                                                               
resulted in the  building being blown off of its  foundation.  So                                                               
there is not only  a risk from the toxins that can  be found in a                                                               
methamphetamine  lab, there  is also  a risk  from explosion  and                                                               
fire.   For  this reason,  he  remarked, he  supports the  bill's                                                               
current definition  of "building,"  which is  located on  page 2,                                                               
lines 22-26.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDERSON agreed,  characterizing that  definition                                                               
as important, and noting that  it also addresses office buildings                                                               
and other buildings that might rent separate units.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. BRYANT  mentioned that smaller daycare  centers are sometimes                                                               
located  in strip  malls,  where  it would  not  be uncommon  for                                                               
someone  to  try to  conceal  a  methamphetamine lab.    Although                                                               
discussion thus far has been  limited to methamphetamine labs, he                                                               
remarked,  there  are  other  types  of labs  that  are  just  as                                                               
dangerous if not more so.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:22:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNE  CARPENETI,  Assistant   Attorney  General,  Legal  Services                                                               
Section-Juneau,  Criminal  Division,  Department  of  Law  (DOL),                                                               
relayed that  HB 99 does three  things.  The bill  provides for a                                                               
charge  of   manslaughter  for  manufacturing  or   delivering  a                                                               
controlled  substance in  violation of  Alaska's drug  laws if  a                                                               
person dies as  a result of ingesting  that controlled substance;                                                               
this provision  stipulates that  that death  does not  require an                                                               
additional culpable mental  state as an element of  the offense -                                                               
the  culpable mental  state is  the drug  violation itself.   She                                                               
noted that  other states have  similar laws,  either specifically                                                               
in statute or in "decisional  law based on felony murder statutes                                                               
or laws."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI noted that currently,  AS 11.51.130 makes the crime                                                               
of allowing  a child  under the  age of 18  to be  present during                                                               
illegal drug activities  a class A misdemeanor,  and relayed that                                                               
the bill contains a child  endangerment provision that makes it a                                                               
class C  felony for  endangering the  welfare of  a child  in the                                                               
first  degree   by  knowingly  manufacturing  or   attempting  to                                                               
manufacture  methamphetamine  with  reckless disregard  that  the                                                               
building is a  dwelling of one or more children  under the age of                                                               
18.  With  regard to the provision  pertaining to methamphetamine                                                               
in an organic solution, she pointed  out that the only reason for                                                               
possessing such  a solution  is for  the purpose  of periodically                                                               
extracting  and  distributing  methamphetamine.    Possession  of                                                               
methamphetamine   is   a   class   C   felony,   manufacture   of                                                               
methamphetamine  is  a  class  A  felony,  and  possession  of  a                                                               
precursor   of  methamphetamine   with   intent  to   manufacture                                                               
methamphetamine is also a class A felony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:25:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI  - with  regard to  the language  in the  bill that                                                               
says, "with  reckless disregard that  the building is  a dwelling                                                               
for  one or  more  children"  - offered  her  belief  that "is  a                                                               
dwelling"  is sufficient  to  address Representative  Gruenberg's                                                               
concern,  but  acknowledged  that   they  could  consider  saying                                                               
"currently used as a dwelling".                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  he totally  agrees with  the bill                                                               
but  want to  ensure that  the section  being discussed  won't be                                                               
used too broadly.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  relayed  that committee  staff  has  suggested  a                                                               
possible  fix:    on  page  3, line  3,  after  "is",  delete  "a                                                               
dwelling", and insert "used as  a person's permanent or temporary                                                               
home  or  place  of  lodging".     This  additional  language  is                                                               
currently used in AS 11.81.900(b)(22).                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  expressed a  willingness to  offer that                                                               
suggested change as a conceptual amendment.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:27:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI, in  response to a question,  relayed that although                                                               
the  term "building"  is  currently defined  in  statute for  the                                                               
whole  of  Title  11,  that   definition  excludes  units  in  an                                                               
apartment building, and since the  DOL clearly wanted to have the                                                               
bill  apply to  such units,  it proposed  the change,  located on                                                               
page 2, lines 22-26, to the  definition of "building" as it would                                                               
be used in the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:28:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  noted  that portions  of  proposed  AS                                                               
11.71.020(a)  use  the  phrase,   "intent  to  manufacture",  but                                                               
proposed AS 11.71.020(a)(5) uses  the phrase, "intent to extract"                                                               
He asked Ms. Carpeneti to comment.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI explained that the  word "extract" was used because                                                               
methamphetamine in  an organic  solution is  methamphetamine, and                                                               
so  couldn't  be  called  a  precursor or  treated  like  one  in                                                               
statutory  language.   In  response to  a  further question,  she                                                               
noted that it  can be difficult to prove  whether someone intends                                                               
to extract methamphetamine from the organic solution.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked whether they  would be able to say                                                               
that certain types  of evidence shall be prima  facie evidence of                                                               
intent.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARPENETI  said  the  DOL  tries to  be  cautious  [of  such                                                               
language],  since  it  does  have the  burden  of  proving  every                                                               
element of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:31:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT  offered an example  of one person  selling a                                                               
drug to another  person who in turn sells it  to someone who then                                                               
dies from ingesting that drug.   He asked who could be charged in                                                               
such a situation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI  indicated that both  the person  initially selling                                                               
the  drug  and  the  person  acting  as  the  middleman  in  that                                                               
transaction  could be  charged, though  proof that  their actions                                                               
contributed to the death must first be established.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:32:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOTT  asked what  the  current  law is  regarding                                                               
selling a  drug to someone  who then  goes out and  kills another                                                               
person.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARPENETI relayed  that  the 2004  Alaska  Court of  Appeals                                                               
case, Whitesides  v. State  engendered HB  99.   In that  case, a                                                             
person  sold  heroin  to  someone  who ended  up  dying  from  an                                                               
overdose.  The  trial court found that the  aggravating factor of                                                               
somebody being physically harmed as  a result of the crime should                                                               
apply  and thus  the  presumptive sentence  should be  increased.                                                               
The Alaska  Court of Appeals  disagreed, however, because  of the                                                               
causation argument, since  the person who ingested  the drug made                                                               
the  choice to  ingest  that  drug himself.    House  Bill 99  is                                                               
intended to  avoid that  causation argument  by saying  the drugs                                                               
themselves caused the death.   She mentioned that she didn't know                                                               
whether  there  is  something  in   current  law  that  addresses                                                               
Representative Kott's  last example,  because although  there are                                                               
felony murder charges  for drug offenses, such  wouldn't apply in                                                               
instances where a  death is caused because of the  ingestion of a                                                               
drug.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:35:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  referred  to  a  hypothetical  example                                                               
regarding marijuana  sale and use.   If someone dies as  a result                                                               
of  using  the marijuana,  could  the  original grower  be  found                                                               
guilty of manslaughter?                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI said,  "If we could prove that, yes."   That is the                                                               
risk one takes when one manufactures or grows illegal drugs.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG asked  why wouldn't  the same  argument                                                               
apply to persons/entities that manufacture alcohol.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  suggested that  that line  of inquiry  was getting                                                               
off topic.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:36:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AUDIE HALLOWAY, Deputy Chief,  Anchorage Police Department (APD),                                                               
Municipality of Anchorage (MOA), relayed  that an average of nine                                                               
persons per  year clearly  die from  drug overdoses,  but several                                                               
other  deaths occur  under similar  circumstances  but don't  get                                                               
added to the  aforementioned category because of the  way the APD                                                               
collects  its data;  for example,  the drug  use might  result in                                                               
liver failure, or  the person might die  while receiving hospital                                                               
care.  He offered the following:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     There's  a  lot  of  people   in  Alaska,  and  I  know                                                                    
     particularly  in  Anchorage,  that do  die  because  of                                                                    
     drugs  that are  provided by  other people,  because of                                                                    
     the inexact  science of the  way that they  provide the                                                                    
     drugs -  they don't have any  type of way to  make sure                                                                    
     that the drugs  are safe nor do they care  if the drugs                                                                    
     are safe.   I  could remember  two or  three instances,                                                                    
     when  I ran  the drug  unit, where  we had  heroin come                                                                    
     into town that was extremely  potent, and we had two or                                                                    
     three  people  die  from  [the] use  of  that;  we  had                                                                    
     marijuana  that was  soaked in  some  kind of  chemical                                                                    
     that  caused  two young  teenagers  to  end up  in  the                                                                    
     hospital;  we  had a  death,  just  last year,  from  a                                                                    
     teenager that took  some "thb" that was  provided by an                                                                    
     older  person, and  she died  right  within minutes  of                                                                    
     taking it,  basically, and they  didn't do  anything to                                                                    
     get  her any  help.   So  this kind  of situation  does                                                                    
     exist out there  and, at this point, a lot  of times we                                                                    
     can't do  anything about  it because  of the  fact that                                                                    
     the person intentionally took it themselves.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:39:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAMES  STEELE, Children  Services  Manager, Southcentral  Region,                                                               
Child Protective  Services, Office of Children's  Services (OCS),                                                               
Department of  Health and Social  Services (DHSS);  Deputy Chief,                                                               
Central "Mat-Su" [Matanuska-Susitna]  Fire Department, Matanuska-                                                               
Susitna  Borough, relayed  that he  is interested  in seeing  the                                                               
bill  move  forward.    He   concurred  with  previous  testimony                                                               
regarding the  risks and hazards associated  with the manufacture                                                               
of  methamphetamine, and  reminded the  committee that  those who                                                               
are  manufacturing  these  substances   are  not  scientists  and                                                               
therefore the probability of mishap is very high.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. STEELE offered the following:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Two  years ago  the  "Mat-Su  Drug [Enforcement]  Team"                                                                    
     seized  around 30  [methamphetamine] labs.   Last  year                                                                    
     the   numbers   had   increased   to   more   that   50                                                                    
     [methamphetamine] labs.   The  Mat-Su field  office for                                                                    
     [the OCS  is] now receiving approximately  40 calls ...                                                                    
     monthly  that involve  methamphetamine in  some aspect.                                                                    
     During last year, we had  10 situations in which we had                                                                    
     to remove the children and take custody of them.  Out                                                                      
     of those 10, 8 of them involved active labs.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. STEELE  opined that  children are  at a  much higher  risk in                                                               
such  surroundings  because  of  their  natural  inclinations  to                                                               
explore and  put things in  their mouths, and because  the entire                                                               
living environment is contaminated.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:42:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIMOTHY   D.   BIRT,   Sergeant,   Southeast   Alaska   Narcotics                                                               
Enforcement Team  (SEANET), Alaska State Troopers,  Department of                                                               
Public Safety  (DPS), relayed that the  DPS supports HB 99.   The                                                               
inherent dangers  of methamphetamine  labs create  great dangers,                                                               
not only  to persons living and  in and near such  labs, but also                                                               
to those who are merely passing  by.  With regard to mobile labs,                                                               
such as  those in  the trunks  of vehicles,  he pointed  out that                                                               
they  create  an   extreme  hazard  for  any   children  who  are                                                               
transported in such vehicles.   In conclusion, he relayed that in                                                               
his  experience,  those   who  manufacture  methamphetamine  have                                                               
little regard for  the health and safety of  either themselves or                                                               
others.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:44:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE, after  ascertaining that  no one  else wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 99.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  made a motion  to adopt [Conceptual]  Amendment 1,                                                               
which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 3:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     After "is"                                                                                                                 
     Delete "a dwelling"                                                                                                        
     Insert "used as a permanent or temporary home or place                                                                     
     of lodging"                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  asked  whether   there  were  any  objections  to                                                               
[Conceptual]  Amendment  1.     There  being  none,  [Conceptual]                                                               
Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:45:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT again  raised the issue of  causing damage or                                                               
committing  murder  while under  the  influence  of a  controlled                                                               
substance;  he  opined  that  [the   state]  should  be  able  to                                                               
prosecute  the original  seller by  establishing a  nexus between                                                               
that person  and the  person who  did the  damage or  committed a                                                               
murder  while under  the influence  of the  controlled substance.                                                               
If there  is not  already a  mechanism in  place to  address such                                                               
situations,  he  remarked, then  he  wants  [the legislature]  to                                                               
consider putting something in place that will.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG,  referring to page 1,  line 11, relayed                                                               
that Ms. Carpeneti  has told him that that provision  of the bill                                                               
would not be triggered in  situations in which somebody knowingly                                                               
possesses a controlled  substance.  So, for example,  if a person                                                               
possesses  such  a  substance  and someone  steals  it  and  then                                                               
overdoses  on it,  the possessor  could  not be  found guilty  of                                                               
manslaughter as proposed  by the bill.  He said  he is anxious to                                                               
ensure that  before a person  is convicted of  manslaughter, that                                                               
that person have some legal  and moral culpability.  He mentioned                                                               
that he is still troubled  that manufacturers and distributors of                                                               
alcohol "are not  thrown, logically, down the same  road as these                                                               
people," and is somewhat troubled that  the bill might apply to a                                                               
person who's  only crime is  to sell [a controlled  substance] to                                                               
someone who then turns around and sells it to others.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:48:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT  moved to  report HB 99,  as amended,  out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.    There  being no  objection,  CSHB  99(JUD)  was                                                               
reported from the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                           

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