Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller unveiled a statewide public awareness campaign Wednesday to send a warning to those who buy cold medicines for the purpose of making meth.
The campaign targets “smurfing” — the practice of purchasing cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine to sell to methamphetamine cooks.
Monroe County Prosecutor Chris Gaal, Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan and representatives from the Indiana Retail Council joined Zoeller in Bloomington to kickstart the initiative.
“Law enforcement, prosecutors and our legislature have all worked hard to crackdown on the use and manufacturing of methamphetamine and the fact is, more must be done,” Zoeller said in a statement.
The educational campaign is voluntary to Indiana retailers and a public-private partnership spearheaded by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which represents the makers of over-the-counter medicines.
New signs at participating retailers will inform consumers that smurfing is a crime.
“This joint initiative shows that state leaders are willing to join forces with the manufacturers of over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines to remind all Hoosiers: If you’re purchasing these items for a meth cook, you are breaking the law and you will be arrested,” says Zoeller.
Indiana consistently ranks as one of the top meth-producing states in the country. According to the Indiana Law Enforcement Agency, there were 1,726 meth lab incidents in Indiana last year.