Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Arkansas Passes Anti-Meth Bill

When Oklahoma passed a law restricting cold-pill sales in an effort to slow methamphetamine production (some cold medicines contain key elements of meth), illegal meth manufacturers simply moved to Arkansas. Now Arkansas has passed a similar bill (courtesy Arkansas Democrat-Gazette):
The House passed SB109 by Sen. Percy Malone, D-Arkadelphia, which would require that ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine, drugs that can help contend with a runny nose but also are ingredients in methamphetamine, be kept behind a pharmacist's counter.

The goal is to curtail access to the drugs and cut down on methamphetamine production. Supporters of the measure, which is part of Attorney General Mike Beebe's legislative package, said a similar law in Oklahoma has been successful in curbing the number of methamphetamine labs that have been discovered.

Rep. Horace Hardwick, R-Bentonville, said a measure of the law's success in Oklahoma could be found in the increased number of methamphetaminerelated arrests in Arkansas.

"When Oklahoma passed the bill, we saw an increase in meth manufacturing in Northwest Arkansas," Hardwick said in support of the bill. "It's a great bill, we appreciate it, will help not only our generation but our children and their children."
North Carolina is considering a similar bill.

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