Law Enforcement Backs Tougher Regulations

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

The main ingredient for making methamphetamine is pseudoephedrine, which also has the legitimate use as an ingredient in many cold medicines.

Mississippi has passed laws in recent years to make getting large supplies of pseudoephedrine difficult to get. But some say it's not enough.

The disastrous effects methamphetamine can have are well documented. A mobile home fire took place last year in Lauderdale County when a meth lab exploded.

Meth is highly flammable, extremely addictive and the ingredients are relatively easy to get, including the main ingredient, pseudoephedrine.

"It is the primary ingredient in the cooking meth; it requires it to actually make it," said Maj. Steve Spears, commander of the East Mississippi Drug Task Force.

The state has already made it harder to get cold medications with the ingredient. As it is now, you have to ask a pharmacy employee to get it for you from behind the counter. Authorities say that step did cut down on the number of meth labs found and they say an even stricter law would reduce that number even more.

"What they are trying to do is make sure that medication is with a prescription from a doctor," said Spears.

And Spears says this is a step that would definitely make it harder for those wishing to misuse the drug to get their hands on it. While, keeping the drugs behind the counter at stores has had positive effects, Spears says taking the regulation a step further is necessary.

"I think it is necessary. It is going to hinder those people who use it for legit purposes," said Spears. "Those people who actually get colds and go to the doctor, they will continue to get it."

Mississippi would be only the second state to pass this legislation. Oregon did so in 2006. Ever since many states have considered the issue.

But where you have regulation, you have opposition. Some say this law would not only make getting the medication harder for the abusers but also for those people who legitimately need it.

"I haven't heard anything thus far. I'm not sure many people know they are actually trying to do that. I'm sure that some of the people are going to be against it, but I think those who know a lot about the drug and the consequences of it aren't going to be against it once they find out about it," said Spears.

And the momentum for the legislation is picking up. A news conference is scheduled in Jackson for Tuesday, with the goal of informing the public of why authorities feel it is a necessary next step in the fight against meth.

Should pseudoephedrine, which is a main ingredient in many cold medicines, be made available by prescription only to try to prevent the making of meth?

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  • by Dan Location: Oklahoma on Feb 17, 2010 at 03:19 PM
    I believe that pseudoafredrine should be banned from all over the counter drugs. Without this chemical, meth production CAN NOT be made. Makers of Sudafed and Actifed can still make the products that consumers need with this chemical missing. Washington needs to take a stand against big drug companies and get their hands out of the drug companies wallets.
  • by Tax Payer Location: State on Jan 30, 2010 at 08:02 PM
    This was simply a case of our politicians jumping on the bandwagon looking for a quick fix. What they failed to research, or just totally ignored is that Oregon had a multi disciplined approach to the problem. In addition to the prescription requirement, they went forward with state funding of education programs, rehabilitation efforts, and community and social programs. Washington State accomplished the same results, if not better, but without the prescription requirement. Each state also went forward with developing a steering commitee of sorts, with reps from stakeholders in the state and stopped throwing grant money at law enforcement, who, to be honest, made no effort at demand reduction and in most cases did not use it to develop solutions, or long term strategies, but defaulted to buying new cars, laptop computers, overtime, training sessions that allowed trips to Disney World, and other toys that really had no effect on the problem.
  • by Jay on Jan 28, 2010 at 11:45 PM
    How has the money to go to the doctor every time they have a cold I only see a doctor in an emergency and a yearly check up and that's only if I can afford it this is just another law to line some ones pockets just a little bit more. I really hate politicians.
  • by Lisa Location: Meridian on Jan 27, 2010 at 10:42 AM
    Man on the Street, you worded that so very well! I couldn't have said it better myself!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 26, 2010 at 09:25 PM
    law have to be maxed and held no oops inany you mess up you get max time you serve it hard butt labour..
  • by Man on the Street Location: Meridian on Jan 26, 2010 at 07:27 PM
    Don't we give the Medical Profession enough of our money? If someone wants to make Meth bad enough they will find a way to do it no matter what. This is just padding the pockets of people that want our money. Another example of holding the carrot out for the donkey to follow. Oh, this will stop Meth, it must be a good idea. Bull Hockey. This is just gonna hurt more people than help. If society and our government really wanted to curb the drug use they would fund law enforcement, every year they have cut budgets. Has anyone heard any government drug treatment facilities opened recently in Mississippi? The nearest Methadone clinic is in Livingston. No, some fat cat lobbiest has just found a way for some medical facility to pick up more of our money writing scripts.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 26, 2010 at 05:37 PM
    Even if they do pass the law people will find a way to get around it like always and the problem will continue what they need to do is try to find a way to manage the issue because no matter how many people they throw away there will always be people doing it ALWAYS. The police and task force are all about the money and the glory and image not about proteting and serving our people. ____ the main men coming and throwing these people in jail are undercover dope heads who are actually more involved in criminal activity than the ones they are busting. Just because you do meth or any drug does not mean that you should go to prison or be labled a bad person. Each case is different but they just look at them all the same. some of them are actually better people that the dum _____ who arrest them
  • by Julie Location: Chunky on Jan 26, 2010 at 02:22 PM
    Yes Guy Gyverson as Anonymous stated, you are an idiot! And I just thought I'd let you know that too! Not only white people do the stupid meth; blacks are in there to! Idiot!
  • by Guy Gyverson Location: Meridian on Jan 26, 2010 at 01:58 PM
    Ok...ok maybe that was a little harsh so let me reword that...Just dont sell to white people from Clarke County. Better?
  • by Anonymous on Jan 26, 2010 at 01:30 PM
    just dont sell it to white people? what... are you from mars? meth and crack heads come from all walks of life.. it doesnt matter the color of your skin. your an idiot just thought i would let you know that.
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