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Archive for Friday, February 18, 2005

Anti-meth bill OK’d

February 18, 2005

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— A bill designed to fight methamphetamine manufacturing by restricting consumers' access to some cold, flu and allergy medicines won unanimous Senate approval Thursday.

The measure, which went to the House, is patterned after a 2004 Oklahoma law credited with reducing meth lab seizures in that state by 80 percent.

The bill would permit only pharmacies to sell tablets of medicines containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, common meth ingredients.

The medicines would be kept behind the pharmacy counter, and consumers would have to show identification and sign a log. Also, retailers could not sell more than three packages to a consumer at one time.

The same restrictions would apply to other medicines, such as liquid or gel caps, if ephedrine or pseudoephedrine were their only ingredients.

After the vote, Attorney General Phill Kline praised senators for acting quickly.

"Our state has been scourged by methamphetamine for far too long," Kline said in a statement.

The new law would be named for late Greenwood County Sheriff Matt Samuels, who was shot to death Jan. 19 at a home where authorities found a suspected meth lab.

In Missouri, similar legislation passed the state House on a 157-1 vote Thursday.

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