Senate panel passes meth-drug measure
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Thursday, March 29, 2012
3/29/12 at 5:09 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - A Senate panel passed a measure Wednesday aimed at reducing the manufacturing of methamphetamine.
House Bill 2941 passed the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and the Judiciary and now heads to the full Appropriations Committee.
Sen. Rick Brinkley, R-Owasso, said the measure would limit daily purchases of pseudoephedrine to 3.6 grams. Pseudoephedrine is a common ingredient in cold and allergy medicines. It is also a key ingredient in meth production.
The measure would limit monthly purchases to 7.2 grams from 9 grams and reduce the amount allowable in a year to 60 grams from 108 grams.
The measure also would set up a system so that purchases across state lines could be tracked, Brinkley said.
The state would join a system used in 19 other states, he said.
The system would also integrate the meth offender registry, so pharmacies would be able to block the sale of the drug immediately to anyone on the registry.
The state's current tracking system is not integrated with the meth registry, which lists offenders who can't legally purchase the drug, Brinkley said.
"The intent of this bill is to be able to make a tremendous impact on the manufacturing of meth in this state and at the same time allow law-abiding citizens to be able to get what they need to fight the allergies and colds that they have," he said.
Lawmakers scuttled measures that would have required a prescription to purchase the product.
Brinkley said requiring a prescription for the medication would be grossly burdensome on consumers.
Sen. Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City, questioned the current tracking system's effectiveness at combating meth production.
Brinkley said the system is not as effective as it could be.
Barbara Hoberock 405-528-2465