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By Associated Press
March 30, 2004, 9:21 PM EST
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Lawmakers have passed a measure allowing only pharmacists to sell certain cold tablets that can be used to make methamphetamine.
The measure unanimously passed the House on Tuesday after earlier winning Senate approval. It now goes to Gov. Brad Henry, who has said he will sign it into law.
"It will only be a matter of time before other states suffering this scourge will follow Oklahoma's lead," Henry said.
The legislation is an attempt to crack down on meth labs in Oklahoma by banning pseudoephedrine tablets from store shelves. Under the legislation, it would be sold only by pharmacists and in limited supplies to people showing proper identification.
Pseudoephedrine in liquid or gel capsule form would not be restricted because officials say only the tablets can be used to manufacture meth.
Last year, Missouri passed a similar law restricting the retail display of certain cold medications including pseudoephedrine.
I hope you folks in the Panhandle and North Texas are prepared for a spike in local sales of cold medicine ...
Our local retailers would only sell to the most credible of cold sufferers. They may not smoke marijuana in Muskogee, but we don't take our trips on decongestants. To paraphrase John Bradley, "only antihistamines. Maybe with a little Robitussin on holidays."
Great. Now all the Meth heads are headed south to our Dollar General, Family Dollar, etc. They can't keep Sudafed on the shelves as it is. The Cooks here know which day each store restocks their supply.
I remember when 'make a run for the border' meant a college guys trip to Taco Bell.
A few months ago I heard a discussion the radio about a man who sued WalMart because the store wouldn't let him buy more than a certain number of packages of Sudafed (can't remember the number, but it wasn't more than six). I wonder if someone will go after the Oklahoma statute?
Frustrated with fertilizer thieves, farmers stain them pink
GloTell latest weapon in battle with methamphetamine cooks
By Roxana Hegeman
Sunday, August 22, 2004
WICHITA, Kan.-- It may fall a shade shy of catching thieves red-handed, but for farmers fed up with methamphetamine cooks filching their fertilizer, staining them pink will do just fine.
Assuming you can discourage thieves you cannot easily catch, a new product called GloTell -- which is added to tanks of anhydrous ammonia -- will not only besmirch the hands of those who touch the fertilizer, but leaves its mark on anyone who snorts or shoots the end product.
GloTell is already proving to be a handy deterrent, but there were details to be worked out between its birth as a farmer's brainstorm and finished product.
The additive had to withstand the cold, corrosive nature of anhydrous ammonia. It had to be safe for the environment, safe for crops and even safe around children.
And in the two years it took to develop GloTell, researchers at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale found it did much more than just stain thieves pink.
The visible stain, even if washed off, was still detectable by ultraviolet light 24 to 72 hours later. As an added benefit, the additive helped farmers detect any tank leaks, said Truitt Clements, spokesman for Illinois-based GloTell Distributors LLC.
Best of all, the treated anhydrous ammonia rendered any meth it was used to make extremely difficult to dry and turned it an unbleachable pink, he said.
"Most people that are drug users, they like a clean-looking drug if they are going to . . . put it in their body," Clements said. "We know the end product is not pretty at all."
Snort it, and it turns the nose fluorescent pink. Inject it, and the telltale pink shows up at the injection site, he said.
During product testing, GloTell was added to anhydrous ammonia tanks at farms that had been having problems with meth thefts in Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana, Clements said. Within a week, the thefts stopped.
On Tuesday, GloTell was unveiled at the Illinois State Fair.
Next month, Virginia-based Royster-Clark Inc. will begin selling it at almost 250 of its outlets around the nation under an exclusive distribution agreement with GloTell, said spokeswoman Lori Ann Peters.
Anhydrous ammonia is especially dangerous to use in meth production; it can burn lungs, cause explosions and chemical burns, he said. Meth makers will likely turn to other meth production methods if GloTell use becomes widespread.
"Even if it pushes them to use a different methodology, that is good. . . . It has to be demonstrated to me first. I hope it works, but we have to see," Smith said.
I love the idea of making the farmers put that pink dye in their anhydrous ammonia. Also, when I was in Arizona in a drug store, they had little signs where the Sudafed was that said you had to see the pharmacist. I think that's a great idea, too. The problem with having the pseudoephedrine on the store shelves is that meth cooks STEAL it. There should be another law saying that the grocery stores have to have a surveillance camera on the Sudafed section. Shannon, who can we recruit to sponsor these bills next session?
Wichita Co. CDA Barry Macha is working with a couple of interested East Texas legislators on various meth problems/solutions, and we at TDCAA will be talking about it at our pre-legislative Elected Regional meetings this fall.
If anyone has other good suggestions, send them to me.
Meth crackdown signed into law
August 25, 2004
BY JOHN O'CONNOR
SPRINGFIELD (AP)-- Drug stores will have to start locking up common cold medicines that contain chemicals used to make methamphetamine and limiting sales of those medicines to two at a time under a bill Gov. Blagojevich signed Tuesday.
The new law, initiated by Attorney General Lisa Madigan, also requires that the medicines themselves contain no more than three grams of ingredients used in meth production.
The law takes effect Jan. 1, as does another that Blagojevich signed Tuesday to give ex-convicts access to drug-treatment programs while on parole.
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug and its use is spreading across Illinois, Madigan said. It also contains extremely flammable ingredients, and deadly explosions during its illicit production are not uncommon.
The Illinois State Police discovered 971 meth labs in 2003, up from 403 in 2000. Federal officials uncovered an additional 128 Illinois meth labs last year.
''Methamphetamine is not just a problem; it's a plague,'' Madigan said. ''We must fight its production and use every resource available. This law takes an important new step in cutting off the source of meth-makers' ingredients for their deadly recipe.''
Under the new law, retailers must place over-the-counter drugs preferred by meth-producers -- such as cold tablets containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine -- in locked cabinets or behind store counters. They may sell no more than two packages at a time, and the medicine must be in ''blister packs.''
''Alcohol is not just a problem; it's a plague,'' Madigan said. ''We must fight its production and use every resource available. This law takes an important new step in cutting off the source of whisky-makers' ingredients for their deadly recipe.''
Sounds silly, but it's easy to imagine someone in Ms. Madigan's position saying that while announcing a new law limiting purchases of sugar during the days of alcohol prohibition. It's just as silly to say that about meth and cold tablets today.
I say legalize it and allow cities to zone the labs out of residential areas for safety purposes.
I think your analogy is absurd and demonstrates a severe ignorance of the situation. The difference between a drunk and a tweaker is several orders of magnitude. Your statements seem to paint you as a flaneur and not as someone who has considered any information regarding the difficulties in rural Texas.
I don't mean to personally attack you, but the only word you wrote I'd agree with is 'silly'.
Dangit, Philip, quit using fancy words that force me to use Dictionary.com!
[flaneur (fla-nur), n. An aimless idler; a loafer. [French, from flaner, to idle about, stroll, of Germanic origin. See Indo-European Roots.]]
I get an email each morning. More often than not, it's a word I don't know. You know, if you don't use them, you'll never learn them.
I think my analogy is spot on. Both alcohol and meth are powerful drugs. Both are in high demand in some quarters for recreational purposes. Both are addictive, to an extent that varies with the individual. Some people try alcohol or meth a time or two, or occasionally here and there when it is offered, while others go on to become addicted. Some meth users and alcohol users steal or turn to prostitution to support their habits. Both groups inflict huge damage to society in the form of health care costs, lost work, property damage and theft, etc. I don't know, but I strongly suspect that the health care costs related to alcohol use far exceed the health care costs related to illegal drug use.
I also think my analogy is correct from a criminal justice point of view. Everyone is well aware of the problems caused by treating alcohol problems with the criminal justice system. Alcohol didn't go away, it just went underground. When it became illegal the price went up, which encouraged organized criminals to get into the business, which led to more crime and served as a way to finance gangs. It's the same now with drug prohibition. We still have all the problems caused by the drug users, PLUS all the problems caused by prohibition laws (risk to police officer's lives, clogged court systems, cost of housing drug dealers in the prison system, more gun control laws, etc.)
Alcohol prohibition didn't work. Why would anyone think drug prohibition is going to work any better? In fact, it seems clear to me that it is not working. That's my 2 cents.
I'm not really willing to turn this into a full blown argument, but you should read more into the direct and collateral effects of the manufacture and use of methamphetamine prior to comparing it to alcohol abuse.
The DEA agent that I spoke with yesterday believes that the rehabilitation rate for a person who is a user of Meth is close to 5%.
Some effects you might consider:
- Irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain, producing strokes.
- Respiratory problems in users and in children (including asthma) who reside in the homes of methamphetamine cooks.
- Cardiovascular collapse
Central nervous system effects include:
irritability, confusion, paranoia, convulsions, hyperthermia, insomnia, tremors, aggressiveness, anxiety...
Obviously you are well aware of the problems that go with meth production and use, and I agree
that meth production and use is very bad stuff. So what should we the people do about it?
For several decades now, we have tried prohibition. We have imposed felony penalties for the slightest quantity, set up drug task forces, set up drug courts, hired prosecutors and judges to staff them, built new prisons to house offenders, and then filled them up. Yet meth production is spreading and getting worse.
Prohibition is a dismal failure, despite using up truckloads of tax money throughout America for many years. I think it's time to try some kind of legalized, regulatory approach, like we do with alcohol.
I don't expect this to become a majority view on a prosecutor board, but it is food for thought.
And is this the approach you would take with your own children?
You just don't seem to have a perspective on the circumstances.
The Prohibition of Alcohol in the past would be the present day equivilent of telling the whole country, no more coffee or doughnuts today. AND softdrinks. No caffeine, doughnuts or carbonated drinks. They're bad for you.
Prohibition failed because it was an attempt to correct mainstream society by restricting freedoms that were widely enjoyed.
Restricting the use of methamphetimine is not the problem.
What makes methamphetamine unique is the ability to brew and cook it with household goods.
Ecstasy is a synthetic that requires skill to produce, same as LSD and other hallucinogenics.
Heroin and other opiates require horticultural skills as well as understanding the extracts and the process of creating and using resins.
Nothing is as easy to produce and use as Methamphetamine. It's like 'Chia-drug', the dope that grows at home.
Then compare the short term lightning quick harm that Meth can do to a person's body to the short term problems of alcohol.
It's like comparing Oklahoma beer to Absinthe. It's not a problem to drink the near beer, so lets tickle the dragon and talk to the green fairy.
While we're at it, we should mass produce Rhohypnol and sell it over the counter. Because really, it's not the substance's fault that it has memory reducing properties. I'll bet if we just educated people, surely then it wouldn't be used as a date rape drug.
While we're at it, we should legalize assault rifles for private citizens because the ban hasn't kept gang bangers from using AK47's and SKS semi automatics. I mean, all they're really doing is filing down the pins inside the semiautomatics to convert them to full time automatic fire. Why don't we let people sell the Steyr AUG or the FAMAS assault rifle at Walmart?
Shouldn't every child have their own M-4 carbine? Surely the proliferation and access of fully automatic weapons won't increase the difficulties society currently has with drive by shootings. We could tax them heavily and increase federal revenue. We could provide free gun safety courses and educational programs to increase accuracy and reduce collateral casualties.
Blah blah blah...
[This message was edited by Philip D Ray on 09-03-04 at .]
JUST A THOUGHT...............HOW MANY METH USERS DO YOU KNOW WHO WOULD JUMP AT THE CHANCE TO GO THROUGH COMPLICATED, GOVERNMENTALLY IMPOSED PROCEDURES IN ORDER TO GET LICENSED TO MAKE METH -- OR WOULD BE WILLING TO PAY A SIGNIFICANT PRICE TO GET IT LEGALLY WHEN IT IS SO EASY TO MAKE AT HOME? AND HOW MANY METH-HEADS ARE GOING TO BREAK INTO HOMES, ROB CONVENIENCE STORES OR CREATE OTHER LOSSES TO LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS IN ORDER TO PAY FOR "LEGAL" METHAMPHETAMINE? METH ISN'T LIKE BUDWEISER. THE ADDICTION IS WORSE, THE CONSEQUENCES TO HEALTH IS WORSE AND THE COST TO THE COMMUNITY IS WORSE. THE ARGUMENT THAT "THEY ARE GOING TO DO IT ANY WAY SO WHY NOT MAKE IT LEGAL AND REGULATE IT" IS RIDICULOUS. UNDER THAT REASONING, WE SHOULD JUST DE-CRIMINALIZE EVERYTHING AND SAVE EVEN MORE MONEY............
Time to throw in a grenade and call down the wrath of the anti-enforcement legions.
When I was a young man (oh so long ago) if someone decided to use pot and got caught with as little as one joint he/she was eligible for a trip to the joint, for as long as five years. being caught with other drugs could be even more unpleasant for you.
Sounds onerous, doesn't it? Draconian even. Inhumane. Five years in the joint just for having one joint. Wow.
The "war against drugs" is a losing proposition according to the anti's. And it has been, I must agree, but only because lawmakers have given in to those same anti's and reduced penalties on possession, use and delivery offenses.
Look at the history. Every few years another possession category diminishes in punishment severity. Now we have to give "first time offenders" who are REALLY NO SUCH THING, mandatory deferred adjudication for possession of less than a gram of methamphetamine. Then, once on probation, we coddle them along through violation after violation until their probation period is over. Then, wonder of wonders, they become clean, with no felony conviction record.; which makes them "first time offenders" again on their next possession charge?
The anti's say we are just going after the "user", not the "dealer". Hate to have to tell them this,their logic is flawed. You get to the dealer through the user. If the penalties faced by the apprehended user are rediculously light, then there is NO INCENTIVE for them to give up their source; and with methamphetamine, almost everyone wo can read a cake recipe can cook it. It is the nature of the beast that without a heavy penalty staring them right in the face that users will NOT cooperate in leading us up the stream to the source, the dealer and the manufacturer.
One gram of methamphetamine is something between 4 and 5 dosage units, depending on the quality. In my mind that is more than a personal use amount. It is an inventory available for sale.
How about we grow the intestinal fortitude to press the legislature to help us end, or at least diminish, the availability of raw material for the cookers?
If we lack the political nerve to slap some sense into drug abusers, dealers and manufacturers by incarceration for a sufficiently long period to deter them, then we owe it to our kids to deprive them of the material to make the foul product.
Meth has become the drug of choice for our young people because it is so available and cheap. Thats a shame because it is one of the most addictive and destructive drugs known.
Maybe the solution to our raging drug problem is a little "awe and schock" instead of the more liberal "aw shucks" attitude.
Now, where did I put those gallows?
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