In a move that surprised both supporters and opponents, the sponsor of a bill to require prescriptions for medications containing pseudoephedrine withdrew the bill in the state Senate Thursday.
The bill, sponsored by Republican majority leader Robert Stivers, is aimed at reducing the number of “shake and bake” methamphetamine laboratories. Opponents, including the pharmaceutical companies which manufacture and sell the over-the-counter cold and allergy remedies, say the bill would penalize legitimate users of the products without stemming the rise in meth addiction.
But Stivers, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Tom Jensen, R-London, say the bill is needed because of the dangers to innocent bystanders and law enforcement officers from the toxic and sometimes explosive meth labs. Pseudoephedrine is the indispensable element used in the small labs, some of which can be contained inside a 28-ounce pop bottle.
Stivers said Thursday afternoon the fight isn’t over.
“No, it’s not dead for this session,” Stivers said. He said he’s looking at an alternative bill which could be drafted as early as next week and which might attract more support.
He said an alternative might not do all he wanted “but if I can do something to impede the manufacturing and distribution of meth, I will at least take one bite of the apple this session.”
For the full story, read Friday's print or e-edition of the Glasgow Daily Times.