Meth registry takes hit in appeals court opinion
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Friday, November 30, 2012
11/30/12 at 5:01 AM
Read the Tulsa World’s continuing coverage of the meth epidemic.
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control is considering an attempt to tweak a law setting up a registry for people convicted of methamphetamine-related crimes following an appeals court decision.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday dismissed a Garfield County case involving a woman who was convicted of drug-related crimes before the creation of the methamphetamine registry.
People subject to the registry are barred from purchasing pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in cold medication and also methamphetamine.
The woman, Angela Michelle Wolf, said in court papers that she was not aware that she was committing a crime by purchasing pseudoephedrine, an action that was otherwise legal. She was on the registry.
Her original crimes were committed before the enactment of the meth registry on Nov. 1, 2010.
It also applies to those on probation for any specified offense as of that date, according to the ruling.
The court found that the statute creating the registry failed to set up a procedure to notify those affected by it.
"The statute itself makes no provision that relevant persons should be informed they are subject to its requirements," the ruling said. "This is a violation of due process."
The court returned the case to district court in Garfield County, ordering the lower court to allow her to withdraw her plea and to dismiss the case.
Wolf had pleaded guilty to five counts of unlawful purchase of pseudoephedrine while subject to the Oklahoma Methamphetamine Offender Registry. She was sentenced to 14 years on each count to run concurrently.
Darrell Weaver, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, said Thursday, "We will get our legal team together to find out what we need to do to comply with the order."
He said it is possible that they will seek legislation to fix the problem outlined in the opinion.
Barbara Hoberock 405-528-2465