Oklahoma Lawmaker Questions City Restrictions On Pseudoephedrine

Thursday, June 9th 2011, 4:00 pm
By: News On 6


OKLAHOMA CITY – State Representative Mike Ritze said Thursday he plans to ask Attorney General Scott Pruitt to investigate the legality of new ordinances in two Oklahoma towns that ban the sale of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient used in making meth.

Wagoner and Holdenville recently passed ordinances that would require citizens to have a prescription to purchase pseudoephedrine, which is used in several over-the-counter allergy medications.

5/15/2011 Related Story: Claremore Anti-Meth Activist Wins Victory Against Pseudoephedrine Sales

Similar legislation, House Bill 1235, was considered during this year's legislative session but failed.

Advocates say the new regulations will cut down on the production of meth in Oklahoma. Ritze, a Broken Arrow republican, said he recognized the meth problem in Oklahoma, but said the new restrictions would only add burden to patients and the state's healthcare system.

"Laws to require a prescription of Sudafed-type products would not only create a potential huge cost to patients, but may also add to the already overburdened healthcare system. These restrictions will force the thousands of allergy sufferers in Oklahoma to clog doctors' offices or, even worse, drive them to the emergency room for basic care."

"Requiring prescriptions for pseudoephedrine will not solve our meth problems," Ritze continued. "Rather, we need to use the available tracking information to identify and find those who are consistently buying the limit to stop meth production."

Ritze said the state already tracks pseudoephedrine sales and that the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics keeps a computer record of every sale.

As a possible solution to the state's growing meth problem, Ritze suggested lawmakers ban the sale of tablet forms of pseudoephedrine and only allow the sale of liquid forms.