12:00am

Mon January 30, 2012
State Capitol

Pseudoephedrine Debate Gets Personal

The debate over how to regulate pseudoephedrine is becoming more polarized. Lawmakers are wrestling with the idea of whether to make the drug, known as PSE, available by prescription only. Law enforcement supports that idea, while health care and citizen groups don’t. The debate has led one state Senator to dial back his leadership on the issue due to personal attacks. But Senator Tom Jensen says he’s going to continue to advocate to make PSE prescription only.

And Jensen said this year he’s going to make his colleagues vote on the Senate floor on Senate Bill 50.

“Let me tell ya, we’re gonna vote on it in this floor this time," Jensen said. "Not just committee, it’s gonna happen on this floor and people will have to live or die with that vote. But they’re gonna have to vote.”

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said groups against the prescription only approach should be punished.

“And in my judgment it ought to be passed and the industry ought to be shot for what they’re trying to do to confuse the issue,” Stumbo said.

Advocates of the bill say it’s needed to eliminate the state’s meth epidemic. Opponents say it unfairly punishes law-abiding citizens and those with allergies who frequently need medicines with PSE in it.