8:08pm

Fri November 25, 2011
State Capitol

Effectiveness of Meth Bill Proposal Questioned

 

A new bill that has been pre-filed in the Kentucky legislature for next year would block convicted methamphetamine offenders from buying key meth ingredients without a prescription, but not everyone is convinced the proposed law would be effective.

State Representative Brent Yonts, D-15, has introduced legislation that would create a drug offender database that would prevent convicted offenders from purchasing pseudoephedrine without a prescription. The system would use real-time technology to prevent purchases at the point of sale, Yonts said.

Kentucky lawmakers have tried to pass legislation that would require anyone to have a prescription to purchase cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, but to no avail, said Tommy Loving, executive director of the Kentucky Narcotics Officers’ Association.

“We’re fighting a drug industry that we know spent well over $300,000 last year to fight us and we have no money to spend other than going out and telling the truth of a proven method of stopping the meth labs, or at least greatly reducing them,” said Loving.

That proven method can be found in Oregon and Mississippi, which have similar laws to what Kentucky lawmakers have tried to implement in the past. Both states have seen dramatic decreases in meth-labs.

Loving said despite similar legislation that’s expected to be introduced again next term, Yonts’ proposal is more likely to pass.

“I’m confident his legislation his legislation would be easier to pass because all the drug companies are supporting it.”

But it’s not guaranteed to work, said Loving.

Oklahoma has a similar system in place, limiting medication for convicted offenders, but since it saw an initial decrease in meth-lab seizures in 2007, it has seen only increases.

But Yonts said not to compare the two states’ systems because Oklahoma’s includes data after the initial point of sale. Kentucky’s block purchases at the point of sale.