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Indiana Senate Working to Curb Meth Production

A package of pseudoephedrine pills in a plastic and foil casing.

Photo: Jessica Lucia (Flickr)

A 2005 law placed several restrictions on the sale of pseudoephedrine, an over-the-counter cold medicine used in the production of the illegal drug methamphetamine. The law requires consumers to show identification and sign a log book recording their purchase. In theory, this was supposed to keep anyone from buying more than 100 pills, or 3 grams, per week as stipulated by the law.

Senate lawmakers, working to curb meth production in Indiana are trying to implement a tracking system for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. A Senate committee this morning heard arguments from both sides about the electronic tracking system.

Kentucky sheriff Keith Cain says the tracking system would be a key tool in shutting down meth labs, adding that making ephedrine and pseudoephedrine prescription drugs would only further the problem.

“I also believe it is misguided,” he says, “to believe further restricting the purchase of pseudoephedrine by prescription would have the effect of lowering meth production. Lowering meth lab statistics, perhaps, but not production.”

However, other law enforcement officials say the tracking system will be largely ineffective. Indiana Drug Enforcement Association President Tom McKay says making the drugs prescription-only is the best step.

“We feel like by putting pseudoephedrine/ephedrine, making it prescription-only,” he says, “is the best way for us to stop the meth labs in the state of Indiana.”

While the Senate debates the tracking system, the House meanwhile is considering a measure that would make ephedrine and pseudoephedrine prescription-only drugs.

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