Newsbrief: Oklahoma Lawmakers to Move Against Sudafed in Meth Battle 1/16/04

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Oklahoma lawmakers are preparing to submit legislation that would restrict the sales of popular over-the-counter decongestants, such as Sudafed, as part of the state's war on methamphetamine and its users. The products contain pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in at least one method of homemade meth manufacture. According to Oklahoma law enforcement officials, more than 1,300 meth labs were busted in the state last year.

Reuters reported this week that state Senator Dick Wilkerson (D-Atwood) will sponsor a bill now being drafted that would ban convenience stores and gas stations from selling products containing significant amounts of pseudoephedrine and force pharmacies to offer it only behind-the-counter. Customers who wished to purchase Sudafed or similar products would have to register their names with each purchase, and purchase amounts would be limited.

"Is it a big industry secret that meth is a highly addictive, easily made drug?" Wilkerson asked. "No." He told Reuters he would introduce the bill early next month.

Over-the-counter medicine sellers are not amused. "We don't think legislation is the way to do it," said Donna Edenhart, a spokeswoman for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. "The over-the-counter-products that contain those chemicals are helping millions and millions each year," she told Reuters.

Other common items that can be used in cooking meth include rock salt, battery acid, red phosphorous road flares and anhydrous ammonia, a fertilizer not readily available for purchase but found in storage tanks in many rural communities, he said. No word yet on when the Oklahoma legislature will ban rock salt.

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Issue #320, 1/16/04 SSDP Does New Hampshire, Part II: Candidates, Conventions, and Repealing the HEA Anti-Drug Provision | Venezuela Moving to Decriminalize Drug Possession | New Federal Prosecution of California Medical Marijuana Patients | Hawaii Ice Task Force Issues Report -- Legislature, Governor Vow to Act | Newsbrief: Amnesty International Rakes Singapore over Executions, Mostly of Drug Offenders | Newsbrief: Feds Want Ability to Wiretap VoIP -- DEA Included, Naturally | Newsbrief: Oklahoma Lawmakers to Move Against Sudafed in Meth Battle | Newsbrief: New Jersey "Safe, Drug-Free" Benefit Concert Ends in Melee, Arrests | Newsbrief: Florida Appeals Court Nixes "Knock and Talk" Arrest | Newsbrief: Bolivian Coca Growers Push Bill to Legalize More Coca | Newsbrief: In Australia, Queensland Drug Courts Mostly Send Marijuana Users to Treatment | Newsbrief: Flyboys Flying High on Salvia Warned to Come Down Now | Pain Relief Network Joins National Physician and Patient Groups in Denouncing Florida's Hearings on Pain Drugs | This Week in History | DRCNet Temporarily Suspending Our Web Based Write-to-Congress Service Due to Funding Shortfalls -- Your Help Can Bring It Back -- Keep Contacting Congress in the Meantime | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | The Reformer's Calendar

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