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.


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