Sen. Carney introduces bill to establish a stronger drug take-back program

Posted: February 17, 2021 | Environment and Natural Resources, Senator Carney

AUGUSTA — On Wednesday, Sen. Anne Carney, D-Cape Elizabeth, introduced LD 8, “An Act to Support Collection and Proper Disposal of Unwanted Drugs.” The bill was the subject of a public hearing before the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee.

“We can keep unwanted drugs from contributing to substance use disorder and from contaminating our water by adopting LD 8,” said Sen. Carney. “Six states and many municipalities have already enacted similar programs for unwanted drugs. These programs have proven to be a safe, effective and inexpensive way to address public health and environmental harms caused by improper disposal of unwanted or unused drugs.”

LD 8 mandates that specific drug manufacturers work together to create a drug take-back program that is more frequent and reliable than drug take-back programs currently in use. Its purpose is to protect against drug abuse, especially from minors, as well as account for the environmental concerns surrounding the way drugs are currently disposed of in Maine. This bill was originally introduced in the 129th Legislature by then Sen. Geoff Gratwick, D-Bangor. LD 8 is an updated version of the previous bill, reflecting extensive work with many stakeholders.

The bill faces further action in committee.