New Law Aims To Cut Down Number Of Meth Cooks By Closing Loopholes

Wednesday, January 2nd 2013, 6:40 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma is cracking down again on the amount of pseudoephedrine you can buy in cold and allergy medicines.

It's all part of a push to cut the number of meth cooks.

There's already a limit on how much cold and allergy medicine you can buy, but now that limit will also apply when buying it in some surrounding states.

Many behind the counter cold and allergy medicines have pseudoephedrine, one of the main ingredients in meth.

"There's so much collateral damage. These labs are dangerous. We've seen a number of fires, especially in the northeastern part of the state, Tulsa area," said Mark Woodward, with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

A new law now makes it harder to buy these medicines. You can only buy 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine in a day. That's equal to a 15-tablet box of Claritin-D.

1/1/2013 Related Story: New Anti-Meth Law Goes Into Effect In Oklahoma Tuesday

Once you've met your daily limit, your name is added to the registry for 72 hours.

Your monthly buying max is 7.2 grams and your new yearly limit is 60 grams. Previously, it was 108.

"Of course, when you tell somebody, no, you can't sell them something, it doesn't make them very happy," said Pharmacist Chris Schiller. "So, as far as customer service, it's not the best thing for us, but I think we do a good job of it."

Your information will now be run through a multi-state registry. All pharmacists in some surrounding states will know exactly when you buy pseudoephedrine and how much you're buying.

"Now, it's a real-time registry, that if they purchase some here and then they go to a state that's part of that 21-state group, they're not going to be able to buy any additional," Schiller said.

Law enforcement hopes this new law will crack down on the amount of meth cooks.

OBN says the agency busted 370 labs in the northeastern portion of the state in 2012.

"They're not going to be able to exploit a loophole by hitting their daily limit here and then going across the border," Woodward said.

"It's a bad thing that the actions of a few people affect everything else," Schiller said.

But pharmacists at Economy Pharmacy say running names through the registry shouldn't slow down the process too much.

A few companies are in the process of making a new type of pseudoephedrine without meth making ingredients.