IBJNews

Indiana lawmakers back tighter cold meds limits

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana House will consider stricter limits on purchases of cold and allergy pills that can be used to make methamphetamine after a committee endorsed them Wednesday, while rejecting even tougher measures sought by several mayors.

Officials from Evansville, Muncie, Terre Haute and other cities told the House criminal code committee about problems tied to meth production, including explosions and chemical spills caused by meth cookers. They argued for requiring people to have a doctor's prescription to buy pseudoephedrine-based products, which are often used to make meth.

Opponents said it would be unfair to force law-abiding people to pay for more doctor visits and likely higher drug costs.

Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler told the committee that the city's police department spent more than 2,000 man-hours dealing with about 60 meth labs last year, with more costs to clean up dangerous chemicals and fire damage.

"It's a money issue," Tyler said. "The time's going to come, as this continues to rise, that we're not going to have the funds that we need to be able to do our job and protect our citizens."

Indiana has long been at the center of the national meth epidemic and had the third-most meth lab seizures of any state last year, with 1,429, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Rep. Wendy McNamara, R-Mount Vernon, told the committee about a meth lab explosion that happened about a mile from her home in a rural area of southwestern Indiana. She said meth makers "have disregard for everybody in our communities. ... Our communities are asking for help."

The committee turned down a proposal from McNamara to allow individual cities and counties to decide whether to require doctor prescriptions for the pseudoephedrine-based medications.

Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington, said he worried that allowing such local laws would simply "shove the problem around" with meth makers heading to communities that didn't ban over-the-counter sales to obtain the medications.

The bill unanimously approved by the House committee would allow a consumer to buy up to 61 grams a year of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. That's about an eight-month total, when compared to the current law's monthly limit of 7.2 grams.

The proposal also would require all stores selling medicines containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine to use a computerized system to track sales. A state law adopted two years ago requires pharmacies to use that tracking system, but convenience stores that sell only small packages are exempt.

The bill, approved last month by the state Senate, now goes to the full House for consideration.

Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, the bill's sponsor, said he didn't believe people with allergies and occasional illnesses should face the additional costs and hassles of getting prescriptions. He said he believed a bill that included a prescription requirement would be rejected by legislators.

Federal law requires stores to keep pseudoephedrine-based products behind the counter, and two states — Mississippi and Oregon — require a prescription.

Evansville Assistant Police Chief Chris Pugh told the committee that while a prescription requirement wouldn't stop the sale of meth imported from outside the country, it could put a dent in the some 100 meth labs a year discovered in the city. He said dealing with those labs means police officers aren't handling other problems.

"We're working hazmat, we're working explosions," Pugh said. "We're having to deal with the cleanup and all that cost."

ADVERTISEMENT

  • WAY to MUCH
    If the drugs are still getting out to meth makers, then there needs to be some checks on the companies selling it. Making the public spend more money for DR visits and prescriptions is ridiculous. I know when I need to medicine and go buy it. When they enact more rules the the price goes up more and more for something simple. Quit punishing the public for criminal activity.
  • don't understand
    When i buy pseudoephedrine at Walgreens, i have to sign a form, provide ID, and they take my picture. How is anyone buying enough for a meth lab??

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Angela IS the best RD

  2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

  3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

  4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

  5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help

ADVERTISEMENT