Anti-meth bill tightens restrictions on cold medicines - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Anti-meth bill tightens restrictions on cold medicines

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The State House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday tightening restrictions on buying over the counter medications that contain ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.  

 The bill stops short of requiring people have a prescription before buying those products, but it does require those products only be purchased in a licensed pharmacy and it lowers the amount that can be bought in a 30 day period.

"You can buy the 7.5 grams, but if you come back two weeks later and buy the 7.5 grams, you'll be blocked," said Rep. Blaine Galliher, R-Rainbow City.

The bill would also make it a penalty for a person to use someone else's ID to purchase those drugs.  It also allows law enforcement to charge persons with a felony who have all of the items to produce meth in one place at one time.  

Lawmakers from Southwest Alabama pushed for tighter restrictions, saying meth has lead to child abuse and sodomy cases.

"This is what meth does to people," said Rep. Elaine Beech, D-Chatom.  "We have to do something, I want to pass anything to make it stronger, and I'm totally for prescription Sudafed."

"I'm sorry, I can't feel sorry for you when it's an inconvenience," said Rep. Chad Fincher, R-Semmes. "Not when innocent children are being exposed to this serious, serious problem.

Rep. Galliher said only two states require prescriptions for Sudafed and similar drugs - Mississippi and Oregon.  And he says it hasn't been effective enough in those states to warrant a change here.

"If you're going to address the issue of prescriptive only, you have to address it at the national level," Rep. Galliher said.  It can't be addressed in isolated states because they're going to have to have the same issue we're having with Mississippi."

Galliher said people from Mississippi are coming into the state and buying those drugs in Alabama. He said his bill would stop that.  The Senate Health Committee gave a favorable report to a similar bill on Wednesday.  It now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

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